Vegetation had diverse effects on

In other words, plant roots could only reach and directly affect a given depth ( Zhu and Lin, 2011) within this layer at a fraction of the sampling locations, and the number of such locations decreased with the increase in soil depth. This change enabled the role of other factors in controlling the variability in SWC to become more apparent in this layer. The variation in elevation among the sampling locations became more important in influencing the variability of SWC in the deeper soil layers ( Fig. 7) resulting in stronger variability in SWC in the second layer.