Over the last century, the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural production is one of the primary factors in environmental degradation. As in most parts of the world, forest soils in the north-east of Turkey are being seriously degraded and destroyed due to extensive agricultural activities. This study investigated the effects of changes in land-use on some soil properties in Rize, Turkey. Two adjacent sites were studied: One had been converted 60 years previously from alder coppice to tea cultivation (TC); the other remained as alder coppice (AC). The experimental design at each site was a randomized complete block with four replications in the study area. Four disturbed and four undisturbed soil samples were taken randomly at soil depths of 0 -10 cm, 10 - 30 cm and 30 - 50 cm in each plot in the study area. When the alder coppice was converted into tea cultivation, the bulk density (Db) increased from 0.84 g cm-3 to 1.02 g cm-3, soil penetrometer resistance (SPR) increased from 0.94 to 1.27 MPa, the soil organic matter (SOM) decreased from 5.14 to 4.06%, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) decreased from 40.64 to 16.33 mm h-1 at 0 to 10 cm depth of soil. According to soil depth steps the mean PAW, St, Ksat, SOM and total N content decreased linearly in alder coppice (AC) and tea cultivation (TC). The results indicated that the change in land use and introduction of cultivation had a significant effect on soil properties.
Key words: Land-cover change; alder coppice; tea cultivation; soil properties.
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