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Journal of Applied Sciences
  Year: 2008 | Volume: 8 | Issue: 3 | Page No.: 496-502
DOI: 10.3923/jas.2008.496.502
 
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Effect of Land Use Change on Selected Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in North Highlands of Iran

Mostafa Emadi, Mehdi Emadi, Majid Baghernejad, Hamed Fathi and Mahboub Saffari

Abstract:
The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of cultivation on selected soil properties in the northern highland of Iran. Three adjacent land-use types including cultivated lands (which have been converted from pastures and forests for 18 years), a native forest and pasture lands were studied. Soil samples were collected from four sites in each of the three different land use types in the depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm. Results showed that conversion of native pasture and forest soils into cropland during the 18 year-period increased soil Bulk Density (BD) by 16%, plasticity index by 30% and soil erodibility by 51%. In addition, it decreased Soil Organic Matter (SOM) and Total Nitrogen (TN) by 50% each, tilth index by 40% and available water capacity by 40% for the 0-20 cm soil depth. There were significant differences in soil BD between depths in the pasture and cropland, but not in the forest. Depending upon the increases in soil BD and disruption of pores by cultivation, total porosity decreased accordingly. The Mean Weight Diameter (MWD) and Water-Stable Aggregates (WSA) were greater in the pasture and forest soils in comparison with the cultivated soils and did not change with the depth for each land use type. The distribution of Organic Carbon (OC), Total Nitrogen (TN) and available Phosphorus (P) within WSA showed preferential enrichment of these elements in the macroaggregate fraction (4.76-2.0 mm) for the uncultivated soils and microaggregate fraction (>0.25 mm) for the cultivated soils. These results suggest that the cultivation of native forests and pasture lands in the northern highlands of Iran-degraded soil properties left soil more susceptible to erosion. Since smaller aggregates are preferentially removed by erosion, there is a need to consider appropriate management practices for increasing soil sustainability and productivity.
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How to cite this article:

Mostafa Emadi, Mehdi Emadi, Majid Baghernejad, Hamed Fathi and Mahboub Saffari, 2008. Effect of Land Use Change on Selected Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in North Highlands of Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences, 8: 496-502.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2008.496.502

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jas.2008.496.502

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