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Altering Natural Ecosystems Causes Negative Consequences on the Soil Physical Qualities: An Evidence-Based Study from Nilgiri Hill Region of Western Ghats, India
Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, 641003, India.
Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, 641003, India.
Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, 641003, India.
ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad, 500030, India.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0635-3141
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2023 (English)In: Land, E-ISSN 2073-445X, Vol. 12, no 10, article id 1869Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Land use change (LUC) has direct and indirect consequences on soil quality. To gain insight into how LUC influences the physical properties of soil, it can be advantageous to compare undisturbed ecosystems with those that have naturally evolved over time, as well as to use soil quality indices to pinpoint the sensitivity of each ecosystem and land use change (LUC). A soil survey was carried out in the six major ecosystems of the Nilgiri Hill Region: cropland (CL), deciduous forest (DF), evergreen forest (EF), forest plantation (FP), scrubland (SL), and tea plantation (TP), with those having an establishment for over 50 years being selected and analyzed for soil physical parameters. In addition, soil quality indices were also derived to pinpoint the vulnerability of each ecosystem to LUC. The results reveal that the changes in land use significantly altered the soil physical properties. The content of clay was higher in EF and DF and increased with the soil profile’s depth, whereas the sand content was higher in CL and TP and decreased with the depth increment. BD and PD were significantly lower in EF, DF, SL, and FP, whereas they were higher in CL and TP. PS and ASM followed a similar trend to BD and PD. Owing to undisturbed natural settings, an abundance of litter input, and higher carbon concentrations, the HC was higher in EF, DF, SL, and FP, whereas, in the case of anthropogenic-influenced ecosystems such as CL and TP, it was lower. We discovered that LUC has altered Ag S, WSA, and MWD. Due to tillage and other cultural practices, Ag S, WSA, and MWD were significantly lower in CL and TP. However, the results confirm that native ecosystems (EF and DF) with a higher carbon content prevent such degradation, thereby resulting in good Ag S, WSA, and MWD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) , 2023. Vol. 12, no 10, article id 1869
Keywords [en]
land use change, soil physical properties, soil quality index, Western Ghats
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use Soil Science Ecology
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-102312DOI: 10.3390/land12101869ISI: 001093620600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85175002796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-102312DiVA, id: diva2:1809857
Note

Validerad;2023;Nivå 2;2023-11-13 (joosat);

Funder: Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (IF190855); King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (RSPD2023R958)

License fulltext: CC BY

Part of special issue: Soil Legacies, Land Use Change and Forest and Grassland Restoration

Available from: 2023-11-06 Created: 2023-11-06 Last updated: 2024-03-07Bibliographically approved

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Al-Ansari, Nadhir

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