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Delelegn, YT; Purahong, W; Blazevic, A; Yitaferu, B; Wubet, T; Goransson, H; Godbold, DL.
(2017): Changes in land use alter soil quality and aggregate stability in the highlands of northern Ethiopia
SCI REP-UK. 2017; 7: FullText FullText_BOKU

Abstract:
Land use change alters biodiversity and soil quality and thus affects ecosystem functions. This study investigated the effects of changes in land use on major soil quality indicators. Soil samples were taken from a depth of 0-10 cm (top soil) under four major land uses (cropland, grassland, area exclosure, eucalyptus plantation) with similar land use change histories for analysis, and soil from a nearby natural forest was used as a reference. Land use change from natural forest to cropland and grassland significantly decreased major soil quality indicators such as soil organic C (SOC), total soil N (TSN), molybdate-reactive bicarbonate-extractable P, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spore density, but compared to the cropland, change to area exclosure and eucalyptus plantation significantly improved SOC, TSN and soil aggregate stability (SAS). In addition, we assessed the correlation among indicators and found that SOC, TSN and SAS significantly correlate with many other soil quality indicators. The study highlights that the conversion of natural forest to cropland results in decline of soil quality and aggregate stability. However, compared to cropland, application of area exclosure and afforestation on degraded lands restores soil quality and aggregate stability.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Delelegn Yoseph
Godbold Douglas L.
Sandén Hans
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