Effect of Forest Clearing and Topography on Some Soil Physicochemical Properties Effective on Soil Quality in Saravan Region, Guilan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor., University of Guilan

2 M.Sc., University of Guilan

3 Associate Professor., University of Tehran


Deforestation has detrimental effects on the environment which could result in increased flooding and soil erosion and degradation. Study on the effect of forest clearing on soil functioning within an ecosystem is evaluated by soil quality indicators, and can provide the basis to control the land degradation and develop sustainable management strategies. This research was conducted to investigate the effect of forest clearing on some of soil quality indicators in Saravan Forest Park, located in Guilan province. This region has been cleared in some parts to allow installation of the high voltage power towers. In overall, 144 soil samples were taken from 0-15 and 15-30 cm soil depths of the cleared part and its adjacent forest from four slope positions and two slope aspects. The data were analyzed to compare the effects of land use type and topography on some soil quality indicators. Some important soil quality indicators including bulk density, weighted mean diameter of aggregates, particle size distribution, pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter content, equivalent calcium carbonate, total nitrogen, and available phosphorous and potassium were measured. The results showed that organic matter content, aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity, total nitrogen, available phosphorous and potassium of surface soils were decreased by forest clearing, whereas, bulk density, pH and equivalent calcium carbonate were increased. Forest surface soils of the hill slope with northern face had higher organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorous and lower bulk density compared to other parts. The results indicated that the lower slope positions had the highest amounts of organic matter, available phosphorous, and aggregate stability, and the lowest bulk density and equivalent calcium carbonate. As a result of forest clearing, average Nemero quality index (NQI) decreased by 67.7%. The results showed that the differences of soil quality indicators among different slope positions in deforested parts were more obvious than in the original forest parts. It can be concluded that deforestation may lead to surface soil degradation, which is mainly due to acceleration of soil erosion and soil transportation from top to down slope positions. Different slope positions in the forest are partly uniform due to relatively conserved soil. Considering the severity of surface soil degradation by forest clearing in power transmission lines and the considerable affected area in the region, it is essential to minimize these negative effects by conservation practices such as crop mulches, planting, terraces and diversion channels at the time of construction of these lines. 


  1. اسدیان، م.، س. م. حجتی، م. ر. پورمجیدیان و ا. فلاح. 1392. تأثیر انواع مختلف کاربری اراضی روی کیفیت خاک در جنگل الندان ساری. پژوهش­های جغرافیای طبیعی، جلد 45، شماره 3. صفحه‌های: 76 – 65.
  2. رسولی صدقیانی، م. ح.، ک. قدرت، س. اشرفی سعیدلو، م. جعفری و ح. خداوردیلو. 1395. ارزیابی شاخص‌های کیفیت خاک در مناطق تغییر کاربری‌یافته جنگل‌های زاگرس شمالی (مطالعه موردی: اشنویه- استان آذربایجان غربی). نشریه مدیریت خاک و تولید پایدار، جلد 6، شماره 3. صفحه‌های: 99 – 83.
  3. صالحی، م. ح.، ف. جزینی و ع. محمدخانی. 1387. تأثیر پستی و بلندی بر خصوصیات خاک با تأکید بر عملکرد و کیفیت بادام در منطقه سامان شهرکرد. مجله پژوهش کشاورزی: آب، خاک و گیاه در کشاورزی، جلد 8، شماره 2. صفحه‌های: 79-92.
  4. عجمی، م.، ف. خرمالی و ش. ا. ایوبی. 1387. تغییرات برخی پارامترهای کیفیت خاک بر اثر تغییر کاربری اراضی در موقعیت‌های مختلف شیب اراضی لسی در شرق استان گلستان. نشریه تحقیقات آب و خاک ایران، جلد 39، شماره 1. صفحه‌های: 30 – 15.
  5. کیخا، ا. و ح. نیک‌نهادقرماخر. 1394. اثرات سیستم جایگزین بر برخی خصوصیات خاک در قیاس با سیستم‌های جنگلی و زراعی. نشریه پژوهش‌های حفاظت آب و خاک، جلد 22، شماره 2. صفحه‌های: 142 – 127.
  6. مختاری کرچگانی، پ.، ش. ا. ایوبی، م. ر. مصدقی و م. ملکیان. 1390. اثر شیب و تغییر کاربری اراضی بر ذخایر مواد آلی خاک در اجزاء اندازه‌ای ذرات و برخی خصوصیات فیزیکی و شیمیایی خاک در اراضی تپه ماهوری لردگان. مجله مدیریت خاک و تولید پایدار، جلد 1، شماره 1. صفحه‌های: 42-23.
  7. مهاجری، پ.، پ. علمداری و ا. گلچین. 1395، تأثیر موقعیت‌های شیب بر خصوصیات فیزیکی و شیمیایی خاک‌های واقع بر ردیف پستی و بلندی در منطقه دیلمان استان گیلان. نشریه آب و خاک، جلد 30، شماره 1. صفحات: 171-162.
  8. نوروزی مهیاری، ر.، ف. کیانی و ه. حبشی. 1393. بررسی تأثیر تخریب جنگل‌ها و نهال‌کاری بر برخی از فاکتورهای کیفیت خاک حوضه شصت کلاته، استان گلستان. نشریه پژوهش‌های حفاظت آب و خاک، جلد 21، شماره 4. صفحه‌های: 177-159.
  9. نیک نهاد، ح. و م. ق. مارامایی. 1390. مطالعه اثرات تغییر کاربری اراضی بر خصوصیات خاک (مطالعه موردی: حوضه آبخیزکچیک). مجله مدیریت خاک و تولید پایدار، جلد 1، شماره2. صفحه‌های: 96-81.
  10. یوسفی‌فرد، م.، ح. خادمی و ا. جلالیان. 1386. تنزل کیفیت خاک طی تغییر کاربری اراضی منطقه چشمه‌علی استان چهارمحال و بختیار. مجله علوم کشاورزی و منابع طبیعی، جلد 14، شماره 1. صفحه‌های: 38-28.
  11. Aghasi, B., A. Jalalian and N. Honarjoo. 2011. Decline in soil quality as a result of land use change in Ghareh Aghaj watershed of Semirom, Isfahan, Iran. African Journal of Agriculture Research. 6(4): 992-997.
  12. Awotoye, O., C.O. Ogunkunle and S.A. Adeniyi. 2011. Assesment of soil quality under various land use practices in a humid agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. African Journal of Plant Science. 5(10): 565-569.
  13. Burrough, P.A., R.A. MacMillian and W. Van Deusen. 1992. Fuzzy classification methods for determining land suitability from soil profile observations and topography. Journal of Soil Science. 43: 193-210.
  14. Carter, M.R., E.G. Gregorich, D.A. Angers, R.G. Donald and M.A. Bolinder. 1998. Organic C and N storage and organic C fractions in adjacent cultivated and forested soils of eastern Canada. Soil and Tillage Research. 47: 253-261.
  15. Celik, I. 2005. Land-use effects on organic matter and physical properties of soil in a southern Mediterranean highland of Turkey. Soil and Tillage Research, 83: 270–277.
  16. Cherubin, M.R., D.L. Karlen, C.E.P. Cerri, A.L.C. Franco, C.A. Tormena, C.A. Davies and C.C. Cerril. 2016. Soil quality indexing strategies for evaluating sugarcane expansion in Brazil. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150860. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150860.
  17. Coble, D.W., K.S. Milner and J.D. Marshall. 2001. Above- and below-ground production of trees and other vegetation on contrasting aspects in western Montana: a case study. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 231-241.
  18. Doran, J.W. and T.B. Parkin. 1996. Quantitative indicators of soil quality: A minimum data set. p. 25–37. In J.W. Doran and A.J Jones (ed.) Methods for assessing soil quality. SSSA Spec. Publ. 49. SSSA, Madison, WI.
  19. Emadi, M., M. Baghernejad and H.M. Memarian. 2008. Effect of land-use change on soil fertility characteristics within water–stable aggregates of two cultivated soils in northern Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences. 8(3): 496-502.
  20. Engeman, R. and P. Leroy. 1995. Population and sustainable food production. Committee for the National Institute for Environment, Washington, DC. 4: 1. 1-48.
  21. Eynard, A., T.E. Schumacher, M.J. Lindstrom and D.D. Malo. 2004. Aggregate sizes and stability in cultivated South Dakota prairie Ustolls and Usterts. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 68:1360–1365.
  22. Gajri, P.R., V.K. Arora and S.S. Prihar. 2002. Tillage for sustainable cropping. Food products press, New York. USA. Pp. 196.
  23. Gee, G.W. and J.M. Bauder. 1986. Partical-size analysis. In Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 1, Physical and Mineralogical Methods. Agronomy Monogroph No. 9 (2nd edition), American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI. Pp 383-411.
  24. Green, V.S., D.E. Stott, J.C. Cruz and N. Curi. 2008. Tillage impacts on soil biological activity and aggregation in Brazilian cerrado oxisols. Soil and Tillage Research. 92: 114-121.
  25. Hattar, B., A. Taimeh and F. Ziadat. 2010. Variation in soil chemical properties along toposequences in an arid region of the Levant. Catena. 83: 34-45.
  26. Jaiyeoba, I.A. 2003. Changes in soil properties due to continuous cultivation in Nigerian semiarid savannah. Soil and Tillage Research. 70: 91-98.
  27. Khormali, F. and S. Shamsi. 2014. Effect of Land use on the carbon stock and soil quality attributes in loess derived soils in Agh-Su watershed, Golestan province, Iran. Environmental Resources Research. 2(2): 107-122.
  28. Kiani, F., A. Jalalian, A. Pashaee and H. Khademi. 2004. Effect of deforestation on selected soil quality attributes in loess-derived landforms of Golestan province, northern Iran. Proceeding of the Fourth International Iran and Russia Conference. Pp: 546-550.
  29. Lal, R. 1994. Methods and guidelines for assessing sustainable use of soil and water resources in the tropics. SMSS Technical Monograph, No. 21, soil management support services, USA.
  30. Lemenih, M. and F. Itanna. 2004. Soil carbon stock and turnovers in various vegetation types and arable lands along an elevation gradient in Southern Ethiopia. Geoderma. 123: 177–188.
  31. Lima, A.C.R., L. Brussaard, M.R. Totola, W.B. Hoogmoed and R.G.M. Goede. 2013. A functional evaluation of three indicator sets for assessing soil quality. Applied Soil Ecology. 64 (0): 194–200.
  32. Nardi, S., G. Cocheri and G. Dell Agnola. 1996. Biological activity of humus. P 361-406. In: Piccolo, A. (Ed.), Humic Substances in Terrestrial Ecosystems. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  33. Nimmo, J.R. and K.S. Perkins. 2002. Aggregate stability and size distribution. In: Dane, J.H. and Topp, G.C. (Eds.), Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 4, Physical Methods. Agronomy Monograph, vol. 9. ASA and SSSA, Madison, WI, pp 317-328.
  34. Polyakov, V. and R. Lal. 2004. Modeling soil organic matter dynamics as affected by soil water erosion. Environment International. 30(4): 547-556.
  35. Rezapour, S. and A. Samadi. 2012. Assessment of inceptisols soil quality following long-term cropping in a calcareous environment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 184: 1311-1323.
  36. Sharma, C., S. Gairola, N. Baduni, S. Ghildiyal and S. Suyal. 2011. Variation in carbon stocks on different slope aspects in seven major forest types of temperate region of Garhwal Himalaya. Journal of Bioscinces. 36(4): 01-708.
  37. Sparks D.L., A.L. Page, P.A. Helmke, R.H. Leoppert, P.N. Soltanpour, M.A. Tabatabai, G.T. Johnston and M.E. Summer. 1996. In: Bartels J. M. (Eds.), Methods of soil analysis. Soil science society of America, Madison, Wisconsin USA.
  38. Tejada, M. and J.L. Gonzalez. 2008. Influence of two organic amendments on the soil physical properties, soil losses, sediments and runoff water quality. Geoderma. 145: 325-334.
  39. Torbert, H.A., E. Krueger and D. Kurtene. 2008. Soil quality assessment using fuzzy modeling. International Agrophysics. 22: 365-370.
  40. Vagen, T.G., M.A.A. Andrianorofaromezana and S. Andrianorofaromezana. 2006. Deforestation and cultivation effects on characteristics of Oxisoils in the highlands of Madagascar. Geoderma. 131: 190-200.
  41. Walkley A. and Black I.A. 1934. An examination of Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Science. 37: 29-37.
  42. Wander M.M., G.L. Walter, T.M. Nissen, G.A. Billero, S.S. Andrews and D.A. Cavanaugh-Grant. 2002. Soil quality: science and process. Agronomy Journal. 94: 23–32.
  43. Wang, D., X. Shi, H. Wang, D.C. Weindorf, D. Yu, W. Sun, H. Ren and Y. Zhao. 2010. Scale Effect of Climate and Soil Texture on Soil Organic Carbon in the Uplands of Northeast China. Pedosphere. 20:525-535.
  44. Yanbing Q., J.L. Darilek, H. Biao, Z. Yongcun, W. Sun and Z. Gu. 2009. Evaluating soil quality indices in an agricultural region of Jiangsu Province, China. Geoderma. 149: 325-334.
  45. Yao, R.J., J.S. Yang, T.J. Zhang, P. Gao, S.P. Yu and X.P. Wang. 2013. Short-term effect of cultivation and crop rotation systems on soil quality indicators in a coastal newly reclaimed farming area. Journal of Soils Sediments. 13 (8): 1335–1350.
  46. Yimer, F., S. Ledin and A. Abdelkadir. 2007. Changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen contents in three adjacent land use types in the Bale Mountains, south-eastern highlands of Ethiopia. Forest Ecology and Management. 242: 337-342.
  47. Zach, A., H. Tiessen and E. Noellemeyer. 2006. Carbon turnover and 13C natural abundance under land use change in the semiarid La Pampa, Argentina. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 70: 1541-1546.