The Effect of Deforestration on Physicochemical Characteristics of the Soil in Southern Zagross

Document Type : Research Paper


1 soil science of, Agriculture science and Natural Resource University of Khouzestan, Mollasani, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Associate professor / soil sciences, Agriculture science and Natural Resources University of Khouzestan, Mollasani, Ahvaz, Iran


This research was conducted to evaluate the effect of land use changes on the land quality under deforestation in semi-arid regions. Soil quality of the top layer (0-15 cm) was compared for two land uses. The results show that the organic matter (OM), aggregate stability (AS) and dispersible clay (DC) were changed from 1.19, 2.22, and 2.4% in oak forest to 0.67, 2.08, and 22.8% in deforestation area, due to land use change. These results showed a severe decrease in soil quality due to deforestation. Aggregate stability was decreased and dispersible clay was increased due to deforestration. In addition, the canopy cover and soil organic matter were reduced. With increasing the DC, it was increased the soil surface crust and accelerate the splash erosion. Bulk density increased, since the OM decreased. Also, the percentages of gravel, sand, coarse and fine silt changed from 6.3, 56, 12.6, and 5.4% to 35.6, 64.3, 14.6, and 2.5%, respectively, due to deforestration. Direct sunlight and higher soil heat, especially in hot seasons, accelerated the volatilization of soil nitrogen and despite the addition of nitrogen fertilizers to the farmland, the amount of nitrogen in the farmland decreased. Data analysis by PCA method showed that the different factors affect the varimax due to land use changes. Deforestation was the main factor changing the soil characteristics and seriously reducing the land quality. Land use change not only does not benefit the production of more food, but also destroys the quality of the land, causing floods and increasing sediment from these areas.


Main Subjects

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