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Soil degradation by land use change in an agropastoral area in Sardinia (Italy)

Zucca, Claudio and Canu, Annalisa and Previtali, Franco (2010) Soil degradation by land use change in an agropastoral area in Sardinia (Italy). Catena, Vol. 83 (1), p. 46-54. ISSN 0341-8162. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2010.07.003

Abstract

In recent decades the clearing of Mediterranean maquis along with the creation of new pastures has been a major factor of land degradation in Sardinia (Italy). This was due to an inadequate implementation of agricultural policies. Consequently, tillage and water erosion intensified over a wide area. The present work assesses the impacts of land use change on soil properties in a representative area of central-eastern Sardinia. Paired forest and pasture sampling sites were selected in relation to present land use, land suitability, and land use history. Different soil properties were considered: physical (sand, silt, clay, soil thickness, bulk density, and penetration resistance), chemical (pH, OC, N, C/N, Ca, Mg, Na, K, CEC, and BS), biological (BQI), and micromorphological (microporosity and microstructure). The comparison of forest and pasture soils showed a significant soil loss (in terms of soil thickness, −22%), and a clear decrease in organic carbon storage (−64% on average). An increase in bulk density (+ 44%) and a change in microporosity and its vertical distribution were also observed, respectively by field measurements and micromorphological quantification on digital images.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:5554
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Deforestation, agropastoral practices, soil erosion, soil organic carbon, microporosity, BQI (Biological Quality Index)
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/14 Pedologia
Divisions:002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche > Istituto di biometeorologia, Sassari
001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Ingegneria del territorio
001 Università di Sassari > 02 Centri > Centro interdipartimentale Nucleo di ricerca sulla desertificazione
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0341-8162
Deposited On:04 Mar 2011 18:09

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