The effect of land use change on some physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 MSc in Soil Resource Management, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

4 Ph.D. in Soil Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran.

Abstract

Nowadays, vast areas of forests have been changed to farmlands, and the change in land use is one of the important factors that reduce soil quality. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of land use change from forest and pasture to agriculture on some soil characteristics in Sarab Badia area (Kermanshah province). Sampling was done in 2018 from points with the same slope in the form of a nesting site. For this purpose, 4 areas near each other that have the same landscape and include 3 uses of forest, pasture, and agriculture and also 2 depths of 0-20 and 20-40 cm were considered. Composite samples were prepared from each depth. After transferring the samples to the laboratory, the important characteristics of the soil were measured based on standard methods. The results showed that due to the change in land use, among the physical characteristics of the soil, MWD was affected more than other physical characteristics, so with the change of land use from forest to agriculture in the subsoil layer (20-40 cm) decreased by 51.04%. Among the soil chemical properties, organic carbon and total nitrogen with 52.95% decrease in the surface layer of the soil (0-20 cm), had the most variability due to the change of land use from forest to pasture. The metabolic coefficient was sensitive to the change in land use in such a way that its value decreased by 92.92% in the lower soil layer (20-40 cm) with the change of land use from forest to agriculture. These characteristics (MWD, organic carbon, total nitrogen, and metabolic coefficient) are highly sensitive to changes in management conditions at the field level, so these characteristics can be used to monitor soil quality.

Keywords

Main Subjects