The effects of land use changes on some soil properties in Indaği Mountain Pass—Cankiri, Turkey

M Başaran, G Erpul, A E Tercan, M R Canga
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2008, 136 (1): 101-19
Understanding spatial variability of dynamic soil attributes provides information for suitably using land and avoiding environmental degradation. In this paper, we examined five neighboring land use types in Indagi Mountain Pass--Cankiri, Turkey to spatially predict variability of the soil organic carbon (SOC), bulk density (BD), textural composition, and soil reaction (pH) as affected by land use changes. Plantation, recreational land, and cropland were the lands converted from the woodland and grassland which were original lands in the study area. Total of 578 disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were taken with irregular intervals from five sites and represented the depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm. Soil pH and BD had the lower coefficient of variations (CV) while SOC had the highest value for topsoil. Clay content showed greater CV than silt and sand contents. The geostatistics indicated that the soil properties examined were spatially dependent to the different degrees and interpolations using kriging showed the dynamic relationships between soil properties and land use types. The topsoil spatial distribution of SOC highly reflected the changes in the land use types, and kriging anticipated significant decreases of SOC in the recreational land and cropland. Accordingly, BD varied depending on the land use types, and also, the topsoil spatial distribution of BD differed significantly from that of the subsoil. Generally, BD greatly decreased in places where the SOC was relatively higher except in the grassland where overgrazing was the more important factor than SOC to determine BD. The topsoil spatial distributions of clay, silt, and sand contents were rather similar to those of the subsoil. The cropland and grassland were located on the very fine textured soils whereas the woodland and plantation were on the coarse textured soils. Although it was observed a clear pattern for the spatial distributions of the clay and sand changing with land uses, this was not the case for the silt content, which was attributed to the differences of dynamic erosional processes in the area. The spatial distribution of the soil pH agreed with that of the clay content. Soils of the cropland and grassland with higher amounts of clay characteristically binding more cations and having higher buffering capacities had the greater pH values when compared to the soils of other land uses with higher amounts of sand naturally inclined to be washed from the base cations by the rainwater.

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