Soil water is a key factor limiting plant growth in water-limited regions. Without limit of soil water used by plants, soil degradation in the form of soil desiccation is easy to take place in the perennial forestland and grassland with too higher density or productivity. Soil water resources use limit (SWRUL) is the lowest control limit of soil water resources which is used by plants in those regions. It can be defined as soil water storage within the maximum infiltration depth in which all of soil layers belong to dried soil layers. In this paper, after detailed discussion of characteristics of water resources and the relationship between soil water and plant growth in the Loess Plateau, the definition, quantitative method, and practical applications of SWRUL are introduced. Henceforth, we should strengthen the study of SWRUL and have a better understanding of soil water resources. All those are of great importance for designing effective restoration project and sustainable management of soil water resources in water- limited regions in the future.
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