Effect of vegetation patch size on selected chemical properties of soils under semiarid climate conditions


Ozcelik M. S. , GÖKBULAK F. , ŞENGÖNÜL K.

FORESTIST, vol.69, no.2, pp.117-123, 2019 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 69 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/forestist.2019.19001
  • Title of Journal : FORESTIST
  • Page Numbers: pp.117-123

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate effects of vegetation patches of different sizes on selected chemical characteristics of soil. The study was carried out in a semiarid region of Central Anatolia. Based on average diameter of the canopy, vegetation patches in the site were divided into three groups: 0-4 meters (m) (small), 4-8 m (medium), and >8 m (large). Soil samples were collected from under the patch canopy and near the canopy at the topsoil. The soil samples were mixed, and one subsample was taken as a representative of each patch size. A total of 20 subsamples for the small, 14 for the medium-sized, and 14 for the large patches were collected. The soil samples were analyzed for electrical conductivity, pH, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, total nitrogen, and total carbon. Results showed that patch size had a significant effect on the phosphorus and total nitrogen contents of the topsoil. Topsoil around the large patches had significantly greater phosphorus content 0.03 grams/liter (g/L) than small (0.01 g/L) and medium-sized (0.01 g/L) patches. Similar to phosphorus values, the topsoil around the large patches had significantly greater total nitrogen content (0.70%) than the topsoil around the small (0.62%) and medium-sized (0.60%) patches. Since both nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients are important elements for early plant growth and survival, large patches should not be cleared from the sites during the land rehabilitation works due to their positive impacts on the topsoil under fragile landscape conditions in the semiarid regions.