The Effects of Changing Forest Land to Paddy Field on the Physical and Chemical Properties of the Soil and Determining Sensitive Indices to Land Use Change

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student. Department of Soil Science. College of Agriculture, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Soil Science. College of Agriculture, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Soil Science. College of Agriculture, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

4 Research Assistant professor, Research center of Agriculture and Natural, Resources of Gilan province, (AREEC), Rasht, Iran


Agricultural activity, especially cultivating rice, is one of the main reason of the destruction of natural forests in the north of Iran. This study was performed to investigate the effects of changing natural forest to Paddy Field on some physical and chemical properties of the soil and to determine the most sensitive indices to the disturbance of an ecosystem. Moreover, in this study, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method was used to create a minimum set of data from measured physical and chemical parameters. Accordingly, two land uses (natural forest and paddy field) were selected in Gilan province and soil samples were collected from five different depths (0-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80, and 80-100) three times. Soil texture, density, field capacity, dispersible clay, mean weight diameter (MWD), pH, electrical conductivity, calcium carbonate, organic carbon, total nitrogen, cation exchange capacity, extractable carbohydrates with acid and extractable carbohydrates with hot water at each depth were measured and the results were analyzed as factorial in a completely randomized design. The results indicated that by changing the land use from forest to paddy field, the average apparent density of the soil profile (15%) and dispersible clay (33%) were increased. However, the MWD (76%), organic carbon content (57%), total nitrogen (53%), and cation exchange capacity (31%) were reduced. The sensitivity index (SI) showed that among the physical and chemical parameters, MWD and organic carbon content were respectively more sensitive than the other parameters to land use change. The results of PCA revealed that the four factors could almost justify more than 90% of the variance in MWD, organic Carbone, density, moisture content in field capacity, extractable carbohydrates with acid, and extractable carbohydrates with hot water. These parameters showed the highest commonality and the clay percentage had the minimum relative importance among the estimation of commonality values.


Main Subjects

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