At present, the researchers mainly focused on the degradation of vegetation caused by the sand burial, the sand flowing, and the loss of soil moisture and nutrients but never considered the impact of strong environmental electric field, which caused by the moving sand particles, on the physiological process of plants. In this chapter, we briefly introduced the research progress of wind-blown sand electrification and proposed a coupling prediction model to explain the contact electrification phenomenon of moving sand. At last, based on the rigid conduit model and the root-water-uptake model, we discussed the effect of wind-blown sand electric field, which maximum value can reach to 200 kV/m, on the speed of plant sap flow, the water potential of root, and the cell membrane permeability, respectively. The numerical simulation results showed that the wind-blown sand electric field directly accelerates the sap flow rate and indirectly decreased the water potential of plant root, which finally affects the plant physiological processes. These results can explain why the effect of wind-blown sand on the plant is obvious than that of the clean wind. From these discussions, we effectively illustrate the impact mechanism of wind-blown sand on the plant physiology in the desertification land.
Part of the book: Community and Global Ecology of Deserts