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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372197

Research Project: Managing Energy and Carbon Fluxes to Optimize Agroecosystem Productivity and Resilience

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: Change of forest-steppe chernozems under the influence of shelterbelts in the south of the Central Russian Upland

item CHENDEV, YURI - Belgorod State University
item GENNADIEV, ALEXANDER - Lomonosov University
item LUKIN, SERGEY - Belgorod State University
item Sauer, Thomas - Tom
item ZAZDRAVNYKH, EVGENY - Belgorod State University
item BELEVANTSEV, VALERIY - Belgorod State University
item SMIRNOVA, MARIA - Belgorod State University

Submitted to: Eurasian Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2020
Publication Date: 8/28/2020
Citation: Chendev, Yu.G., Gennadiev, A.N., Lukin, S.V., Sauer, T.J., Zazdravnykh, E.A., Belevantsev, V.G., Smirnova, M.A. 2020. Change of forest-steppe chernozems under the influence of shelterbelts in the south of the Central Russian Upland. Eurasian Soil Science. 53(8):1033-1045.

Interpretive Summary: Tree windbreaks have been planted in drier agricultural areas to protect crops from hot, dry winds. This was a common practice in the steppes of Russia and in the U.S. Great Plains. When the vegetation is changed from grass or crops to trees, there can be changes in soil properties. In this study, soil properties beneath a 50-year-old oak windbreak in Russia were compared with properties in an adjacent field. The results indicated differences in soil properties had already occurred that may be linked to changes in water movement. Carbonates and salt were found closer to the surface underneath the trees. Soil beneath the trees also had lower organic matter and clay content. The effect of the windbreak on soil properties extends 50-60 m into the field. This research is important to scientists and land managers interested in tree windbreaks as a climate change adaptation practice and the potential impact on soil health.

Technical Abstract: This research aimed to be a comprehensive study of the soils of a 5-row (30 m) oak shelterbelt with meridional orientation located on an interfluve of an agroforestry landscape (typical forest-steppe of the Belgorod oblast). Background soils are leached medium-thickness light clay chernozems on heavy carbonate loess-like loams (Luvic Chernozems). We found changes in soil-forming process intensity and direction both in soils of the shelterbelt and adjacent arable lands as a result of tree growth during the last 50 years (the age of shelterbelt). The silt with fine dust content and profile distribution indicate soil texture differentiation. An accumulation of sodium and magnesium was detected in the soil-water extract in a 200-400 cm layer. Adjacent arable soils contained fewer carbonates than soils under the shelterbelt (in cultivated area for 0–200 cm, carbonate removal averaged 57 t / ha, and for 0–300 cm - 84 t / ha). The soils of the shelterbelt in the 0–20 cm layer significantly differ from the soils of adjacent arable lands. They were characterized by a lower bulk density, lower clay content (<0.001 mm), physical clay (<0.01 mm) and organic carbon than arable soils. The influence of the shelterbelt on the soil properties of adjacent arable lands can be detected up to 50-60 m from shelterbelt edge. In quantitative indicators we detected significant differences in clay storage.