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Characterization of Eroded Lands of Pothwar Plateau, Punjab, Pakistan

Characterization of Eroded Lands of Pothwar Plateau, Punjab, Pakistan

 Aqila Shaheen

 Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, The University of Poonch, Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

aqeela.shaheen@gmail.com 

ABSTRACT

 Erosion is one of the complex and detrimental types of land degradation that deteriorates both soil quality and land productivity. Determination of soil characteristics and nutrient status of eroded lands is pre-requisite for restoring their productivity. The objective of present study was to quantify the selected soil properties and nutrient status of eroded soils.  The study was undertaken on eight soil series (Missa, Pirsabak, Guliana, Rajar, Balkassar, Rawalpindi, Chakwal and Satwal) in tehsil Gujar Khan of Rawalpindi district. Amongst the soil characteristics of selected fields, pH ranged from 7.36-7.94 for surface soil (0-15 cm) and 7.49-7.94 for subsoil (30-45 cm), EC1:1 was 0.22-0.38 dSm-1  in surface soil and 0.21-0.28 dSm-1    in subsoil, CaCO3 was 1.0-9.22% in top soil and 0.28-9.67% in the subsoil and soil organic matter (OM) was 0.89-1.25% in surface soil and 0.62-1.04% in subsoil. Among soil series, Missa soil series had higher OM (1.25% and 1.04% in surface and sub-surface soil, respectively) compared with other soil series. All soils were generally deficient in nutrients as NO3-N was deficient in 97% surface soils (2.77-5.23 mg kg-1) and 100% sub soils (1.03-4.14 mg kg-1), P was deficient in 95% surface soils (0.76- 1.67 mg kg-1) and 100% sub soils (0.22- 1.22 mg kg-1), Zn was deficient in 100% both surface and subsoils and B was deficient in 85% surface soils and 90% subsoils. These results suggested that fertility status of these soils with respect to NO3-N, P, Zn and B was poor. The characterization of eroded lands provides a quantitative data and on the basis of this data application of integrated soil conservation practices could improve the soil sustainability and crop productivity of eroded lands. Furthermore, this data could also be helpful in developing policies, strategies and programs for the conservation of eroded lands.

 

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Sarhad Journal of Agriculture

June

Vol. 35, Iss. 2, Pages 320-662

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