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Research Paper | September 1, 2015

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Effects of land-use change from pasture to agricultural lands on several soil quality charactristics under different soil texture classes

Seyed Bahman Mousavi

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(3), 141-149, September 2015

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Abstract

Evaluation of the long term effects of the land-use change on soil quality indexes would supply valuable information for soil sustainable management and prevention of intensive soil degradation. In this regard, the current research was aimed to evaluate the effects of land-use change from pasture to agricultural lands on soil wet-aggregate stability (WAS) and organic carbon (OC). The study was carried out on Northwestern slopes of Mount Sahand, northwest of Iran. The study area including three soil texture classes of loam, sandy clay loam, and sandy loam was pasture land which is partially changed to either irrigated and rain-fed agricultural lands or bare soil. Results showed that regardless of soil texture, pasture conversion to agricultural lands resulted in reduction of soil OC which will deteriorate soil quality. The reduction was more considerable in pasture conversion to irrigated farmlands due to mismanagements which reduced soil OC content to the nearly half (0.54 vs. 0.98 %) and also led to 11 percent reduction in WAS of soil (WAS of 59 % vs. 70 %). The mismanagements also resulted in destruction of pasture and converted them to unprotected bare soils. It is concluded that appropriate and detailed surveys and investigations are needed to conserve studied pasture lands.

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Effects of land-use change from pasture to agricultural lands on several soil quality charactristics under different soil texture classes

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