Quantitative Evaluation and Zoning of Spatial Distribution of Soil Quality Index in Some Parts of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Western Iran (Case Study: Kane Sorkh Region, Ilam Province)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor, Water and Soil Science Department, College of Agriculture, Ilam University, ilam, Iran

2 Ms.c Student Science and soil Engineering Department, Ilam University,Ilam, Iran,

3 Assistant professor, Science and soil Engineering Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Tehran University, Kraj, Iran,

4 Ph.D Student of Soil Resources Management, Science and soil Engineering Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Tehran University, Kraj, Iran,


Knowledge of the soils capacity to utilize them in the form of different major uses in agricultural ecosystems and natural resources requires the accurate recognition of the physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil, ensuring the sustainable use of the lands. Therefore, this research was conducted to evaluate the soil quality using quantitative models in the Kane Sorkh lands of Mehran as a part of arid and semi-arid lands of Ilam province (Iran). Soil samples were taken from the depth of 0-30 cm and weighted average for the depths of 30-100 cm of the soil profile. Physicochemical properties were measured based on the standard methods. Using principal component analysis (PCA), among a total 16 soil characteristics (TDS), eight properties were selected based on the eigen values and the correlation coefficient as the least properties affecting soil quality (MDS). Then, soil quality assessment was performed using two models of integrated quality index (IQI), Nemoro Quality Index (NQI), and each in two sets of TDS and MDS. The results showed that the top layer (0-30 cm) have a moderate quality class and the sub layer (30-100 cm of the profiles) have poor quality with severe constraints. According to the results, the most important factors limiting soil quality were organic matter deficiency, high percentage of calcium carbonate, gypsum, gravel and soil salinity. Determination coefficients (R2) for the top and sub-layer samples between the two TDS and MDS sets in both IQI and NQI models were 0.79 and 0.79, 0.95 and 0.94, respectively, indicating the reliability of using MDS set instead of TDS in both models. Therefore, the use of most effective soil properties in the soil quality assessment studies is not only time consuming but also it is cost-effective for sustainable monitoring of agricultural land use.


Main Subjects

Amirinejad, A. A., Kamble, K., Aggarwal, P., Chakraborty, D., Pradhan, S. and Mittal, R. B. (2011). Assessment and mapping of spatial variation of soil physical health in a farm. Geoderma, 160(3-4), 292-303.
Andrews, S. S., Mitchell, J. P., Mancinelli, R., Karlen, D. L., Hartz, T. K., Horwath, W. R., and Munk, D. S. (2002). On-farm assessment of soil quality in California's central valley. Agronomy Journal, 94(1), 12-23.
Asghari, Sh., Dizajghoorbani Aghdam S. and Esmali Ouri A. (2014). Investigation te Spatial Variability of some Soil Physical Quality Indices in Fandoghlou Region of Ardabil Using Geostatistics. Journal of Water and Soil, 28(6), 1271-1283. (In Farsi).
Askari, M.S. and Holden, N.M. (2015). Quantitative soil quality indexing of temperate arable management systems. Soil and Tillage Research, 150, 57-67.  
Azarneshan, S., Khormali, F., Sarmadian, F., Kiani, F. and Eftekhari, K. (2018). Soil quality evaluation of semi-arid and arid lands in Qazvin plain, Iran. Journal of Water and Soil, 32(2).  359-374.(In Farsi).
Bi, C. J., Chen, Z. L., Wang, J. and Zhou, D. (2013). Quantitative assessment of soil health under different planting patterns and soil types. Pedosphere, 23(2), 194-204.
Brasher, B. R., Franzmeier, D. P., Valassis, V. and Davidson, S. E. (1966). Use of saran resin to coat natural soil clods for bulk-density and water-retention measurements. Soil Science, 101(2), 108-115.
Congreves, K. A., Hayes, A., Verhallen, E. A. and Van Eerd, L. L. (2015). Long-term impact of tillage and crop rotation on soil health at four temperate agroecosystems. Soil and Tillage Research, 152, 17-28.
Doran, J.W. and Parkin, T.B. (1994). Defining and assessing soil quality. Defining soil quality for a sustainable environment, (definingsoilqua), 1-21.
Dose, H. L., Fortuna, A. M., Cihacek, L. J., Norland, J., DeSutter, T. M., Clay, D. E. and Bell, J. (2015). Biological indicators provide short term soil health assessment during sodic soil reclamation. Ecological indicators, 58, 244-253.
Emami, H., Neyshabouri, M. R. and Shorafa, M. (2012). Relationships between some soil quality indicators in different agricultural soils from Varamin, Iran. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 14(4), 951-959.
Emami, H., Shorafa. M., Neishabouri, M. A and Liaghat, A. M. (2010). Estimation of soil physical properties index using soil time properties of soil in some salt and calcareous soils. Iranian Jornah of Soil and Water Research. 39(1). 39-46. (In Farsi).
Gee, G. W. and Bauder, J. W. (1986). Particle-size analysis 1 (No. methods of soil 1, pp. 383-411). Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy.
Ghaemi, M., Astaraei, A.R., Sanaei nezhad, S.H., Nasiri mahalati, M. and Emami, H. )2013(. Evaluating Chemical Quality of Several soil cultivation wheat-corn Using of soil quality Models at some Parts of Southeast Mashhad area. Soil Research. 27(4), 463-473. (In Farsi).
Ghahramanpour, R., Gorji, M., Pourbabaee, A. and Farahbakhsh, M. (2019). Investigating the Effects of Conservation and Reduced Tillage Systems on Soil Quality Indices. Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research, 49(6), 1355-1364. (In Farsi).
Gorji, M., Kakeh, J. and Alimohammadi, A. (2016). Quantitative assessment of soil quality in different uses in part of southern eastern Qazvin Land, Iran. Soil and Water Research, 47(4), 775-784. (In Farsi).
Gorji, M., Kakeh, J. and Alimohammadi, A. (2018). Quantitative soil quality assessment in different land uses at some Parts of south eastern of Qazvin. Iranian Journal of Soil and Water Research, 48(5), 941-950. (In Farsi).
Govaerts, B., Sayre, K. D. and Deckers, J. (2006). A minimum  data set for soil quality assessment of wheat and maize cropping in the highlands of Mexico. Soil and Tillage Research, 87(2), 163-174.
Guo, L., Sun, Z., Ouyang, Z., Han, D. and Li, F. (2017). A comparison of soil quality evaluation methods for Fluvisol along the lower Yellow River. Catena, 152, 135-143.
Han, W. J. and Wu, Q. T. (1994). A primary approach on the quantitative assessment of soil quality. Chin. J. Soil Sci, 25, 245-247.
Imaz, M. J., Virto, I., Bescansa, P., Enrique, A., Fernandez-Ugalde, O. and Karlen, D. L. (2010). Soil quality indicator response to tillage and residue management on semi-arid Mediterranean cropland. Soil and Tillage Research, 107(1), 17-25.
Khalili, A. (2005). Climate of Iran. In: Banaei et al (eds) The soils of Iran. New achievements in perception, management and use (in Persian). Soil and Water Research Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran, pp. 24–71. (In Farsi).
Li, P., Zhang, T., Wang, X. and Yu, D. (2013). Development of biological soil quality indicator system for subtropical China. Soil and Tillage Research, 126, pp.112-118.
Lindsay, W. L. and Norvell, W. A. (1978). Development of a DTPA Soil Test for Zinc, Iron, Manganese, and Copper 1. Soil science society of America journal, 42(3), 421-428.
Liu, Z., Zhou, W., Shen, J., Li, S., He, P. and Liang, G. (2014). Soil quality assessment of Albic soils with different productivities for eastern China. Soil and Tillage Research, 140, 74-81.
Marzaioli, R., d’Ascoli, R., De Pascale, R. A. and Rutigliano, F. A. (2010). Soil quality in a Mediterranean area of Southern Italy as related to different land use types. Applied Soil Ecology, 44(3), 205-212.
McLean, E. O. (1982). Soil pH and lime requirement. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, (methodsofsoilan2), 199-224.
Nabiollahi, K., Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi, R., Kerry, R. and Moradian, S. (2017). Assessment of soil quality indices for salt-affected agricultural land in Kurdistan Province, Iran. Ecological Indicators, 83, 482-494.
Nelson, D. W. and Sommers, L. (1982). Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter 1. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, (methodsofsoilan2), 539-579.
Nelson, R. E. (1982). Carbonate and gypsum. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, (methodsofsoilan2), 181-197.
Ngo-Mbogba, M., Yemefack, M. and Nyeck, B. (2015). Assessing soil quality under different land cover types within shifting agriculture in South Cameroon. Soil and Tillage Research, 150, 124-131.
Niemeyer, J. C., Lolata, G. B., de Carvalho, G. M., Da Silva, E. M., Sousa, J. P. and Nogueira, M. A. (2012). Microbial indicators of soil health as tools for ecological risk assessment of a metal contaminated site in Brazil. Applied Soil Ecology, 59, 96-105.
Nosrati, K. (2013). Assessing soil quality indicator under different land use and soil erosion using multivariate statistical techniques. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 185(4), 2895-2907.
Olsen, S. R. (1954). Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. United States Department Of Agriculture; Washington.
Qi, Y., Darilek, J. L., Huang, B., Zhao, Y., Sun, W. and Gu, Z. (2009). Evaluating soil quality indices in an agricultural region of Jiangsu Province, China. Geoderma, 149(3-4), 325-334.
Qin, M. Z. and Zhao, J. (2000). Strategies for sustainable use and characteristics of soil quality changes in urban-rural marginal area. Acta geographica sinica-chinese edition, 55(5), 545-554.
Rahmanipour, F., Marzaioli, R., Bahrami, H.A., Fereidouni, Z. and Bandarabadi, S.R. (2014). Assessment of soil quality indices in agricultural lands of Qazvin Province, Iran. Ecological Indicators, 40, 19-26.
Ramezani, F., Jafari, S., Salavati, A., and Khalilimoghaddam, B. (2016). Study the Soil Quality Changes Indicators Using Nemoro and Integrated Quality Index Models in Some Khuzestan’s Soils. Majallah-i āb va Khāk, 29(6), 1629-1639. (In Farsi).
Rasouli-Sadaghiani, M. and Sheikhloo, F. (2016). Effects of Agronomic, Orchard and Forest Land Uses on Soil Quality Index (SQI) in West Azerbaijan Province. Water and Soil Science, 26(2-1), 141-153. (In Farsi).
Reberg-Horton, S. C., Grossman, J. M., Kornecki, T. S., Meijer, A. D., Price, A. J., Place, G. T. and Webster, T. M. (2012). Utilizing cover crop mulches to reduce tillage in organic systems in the southeastern USA. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 27(1), 41-48.
Rezaei, S. A., Gilkes, R. J. and Andrews, S. S. (2006). A minimum data set for assessing soil quality in rangelands. Geoderma, 136(1-2), 229-234.
Rhoades, J. D. (1982). Cation Exchange Capacity 1. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, (methodsofsoilan2), 149-157.
Roozitalab, M.H., Siadat, H. and Farshad, A. (2018).The Soils of Iran. Springer International Publishing. 257pp.
Shahab, H., Emami, H., Haghnia, G.H. and Karimi, A. (2013). Pore size distribution as a soil physical quality index for agricultural and pasture soils in northeastern Iran. Pedosphere, 23(3), pp.312-320.
Shukla, M. K., Lal, R., and Ebinger, M. (2006). Determining soil quality indicators by factor analysis. Soil and Tillage Research, 87(2), 194-204.
Soil Survey Staff. (2014). Keys to soil taxonomy. 12th edn. USDA- NRCS, Washington, DC.
Swanepoel, P. A., Du Preez, C. C., Botha, P. R., Snyman, H. A. and Habig, J. (2014). Soil quality characteristics of kikuyu–ryegrass pastures in South Africa. Geoderma, 232, 589-599.
Takoutsing, B., Weber, J., Aynekulu, E., Martín, J. A. R., Shepherd, K., Sila, A. and Diby, L. (2016). Assessment of soil health indicators for sustainable production of maize in smallholder farming systems in the highlands of Cameroon. Geoderma, 276, 64-73.
Wander M.M., Walter G.L., Nissen T.M., Billero G.A., Andrews S.S. and Cavanaugh-Grant D.A. (2002). Soil quality: science and process. Agron, 94: 23–32.
Wang, C., Zhu, D., Jiang, W., Zhao, X., Wang, H., Yu, C. and Yl, F. (2014). Soil Quality Evaluation and Technology Research on Improving Land Capability--A Case Study on Huanghuaihai: Plain in Shandong Province. Agricultural Science and Technology, 15(11).
Wang, Q., Liu, J., Wang, Y., Guan, J., Liu, Q. and Lv, D. A. (2012). Land use effects on soil quality along a native wetland to cropland chronosequence. European journal of soil biology, 53, 114-120.
Yaghmaeian Mahabadi, N., Khosroabadi, M. and Asadi, H. (2017). Effect of Forest Clearing and Topography on Some Soil Physicochemical Properties Effective on Soil Quality in Saravan Region, Guilan, Iranian journal of soil research. 31(2), 277-290. (In Farsi).
‏Yu, P., Liu, S., Zhang, L., Li, Q. and Zhou, D. (2018). Selecting the minimum data set and quantitative soil quality indexing of alkaline soils under different land uses in northeastern China. Science of the Total Environment, 616, 564-57.