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Research Paper | November 1, 2015

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Soil and water loss from natural and cultivated slopes in Dharabi watershed

Muhammad Nadeem Iqbal, Ghulam Jilani, Akhtar Ali, Safdar Ali, Muhammad Ansar, Irfan Aziz, Muhammad Rafiq Sajjad

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(5), 128-135, November 2015

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Abstract

Land use is one of the main factors affecting erosion. Present study was carried out at runoff plots in the Dharabi watershed in Chakwal Pakistan for two years. Soil and water loss from a cultivated slope use and an undisturbed slope having natural cover was evaluated to ascertain the impact of conversion of natural slopes into cultivated sloping terraces. A relatively steep slope and a gentle slope having natural vegetation were compared with a gentle slope on cultivated terrace with existing cropping pattern. Significance was checked by Kruskal-Wallis test and pair wise comparisons of water loss from all land uses were done using Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxin tests. Cultivated slope produced highest soil loss (8.96 Mg ha-1) annually as compared to both undisturbed gentle and steep slopes, viz., 2.08 and 4.66 Mg ha-1 respectively. Cultivated slope produced 107 mm of average annual runoff as compared to 89.7 mm from natural steeper slope and 56.5 mm from gentle natural slope. Annual runoff coefficient increased from 13.9% to 16.7% with conversion of steeper grassland into cultivated land use. Soil and water losses from cultivated slope were higher despite the fact that cultivated slope had lesser slope gradient than undisturbed natural slope. This suggested that cultivated land use i.e. cropland is capable of producing more soil and water loss as compared to natural grassland. The outcome of the study would help making policy decisions regarding the land use change and its downstream impacts.

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Soil and water loss from natural and cultivated slopes in Dharabi watershed

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