Effects of land conversion from native shrub to pistachio orchard on soil erodibility in an arid region


ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.189, no.11, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Land-use change through degrading natural vegetation for agricultural production adversely affects many of soil properties particularly organic carbon content of soils. The native shrub land and grassland of Gaziantep-Adiyaman plateau that is an important pistachio growing eco-region have been cleared to convert into pistachio orchard for the last 50 to 60 years. In this study, the effects of conversion of natural vegetation into agricultural uses on soil erodibility have been investigated. Soil samples were collected from surface of agricultural fields and adjacent natural vegetation areas, and samples were analyzed for some soil erodibility indices such as dispersion ratio (DR), erosion ratio (ER), structural stability index (SSI), Henin's instability index (Is), and aggregate size distribution after wet sieving (AggSD). According to the statistical evaluation, these two areas were found as different from each other in terms of erosion indices except for Is index (P < 0.001 for DR and ER or P < 0.01 for SSI). In addition, native shrub land and converted land to agriculture were found different in terms of AggSD in all aggregate size groups. As a contrary to expectations, correlation tests showed that there were no any interaction between soil organic carbon and measured erodibility indices in two areas. In addition, significant relationships were determined between measured variables and soil textural fractions as statistical. These obtaining findings were attributed to changing of textural component distribution and initial aggregate size distribution results from land-use change in the study area. Study results were explained about hierarchical aggregate formation mechanism.