International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security
Effects of Converting Rangelands to
A. Besalatpour & M. A. Hajabbasi
College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran
Land use change, especially in marginal and sensitive regions, is an important factor in global change phenomena. It is directly related to issues such as food security, water and soil quality and other important global life support issues. Land use changes and soil management often occur together. In order to develop efficient strategies for the sustainable management of soil resources it is essential to understand processes that can lead to soil quality degradation due to land use practices. One way to investigate the effects of land use changes on soil quality is to study the impacts of land use changes on soil physical and chemical properties. This study was conducted to evaluate the cultivation effects on some soil physical and chemical properties such as Mean Weight Diameter (MWD), Organic Matter (O.M), Nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, Soil Bulk Density (BD), Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Moisture Release Curve. For the experiment, soil samples were collected from 8 regions (rangeland and cultivated range to cultivated land) from west and southwest of Isfahan (Central Iran). Samples were taken from two depths 0-15 and 15-30 cm. Results showed that after conversion of rangelands to cropland farms, in some regions, organic matter content was increased about 39% but in some regions were decreased about 46%. Electrical conductivity increased too but no significant differences were observed for other soil properties (BD and pH). Decreasing of MWD was negligible too. But a steeper moisture release curve for the converted land and less in soil infiltration rate observed, compared to the virgin soil.
Keywords: Land use change, Soil management, Soil quality, Rangeland, Organic Matter and Iran