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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373368

Research Project: Conservation Practice Impacts on Water Quality at Field and Watershed Scales

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory

Title: Estimation of erosion induced nutrients loss under different land uses: A case study in Miandam Valley, Swat Pakistan

item YOUSAF, NOWSHER - University Of Peshawar
item KHAN, BUSHRA - University Of Peshawar
item Flanagan, Dennis
item MIAN, ISHAQ - University Of Agriculture - Pakistan
item IQBAL, JAVAID - University Of Peshawar
item RASHID, IRFAN - University Of Kashmir
item KHALID, SALMA - Riphah International University
item GHAFFAR, NASREEN - Riphah International University
item MANZOOR, SADAF - Islamia College Peshawar
item BILAL, MUHAMMAD - University Of Peshawar

Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2020
Publication Date: 4/7/2021
Citation: Yousaf, N., Khan, B., Flanagan, D.C., Mian, I.A., Iqbal, J., Rashid, I., Khalid, S., Ghaffar, N., Manzoor, S., Bilal, M. 2021. Estimation of erosion induced nutrients loss under different land uses: A case study in Miandam Valley, Swat Pakistan. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 14(2):135-141.

Interpretive Summary: The Miandam watershed is located in the Swat District of the northeastern Khyber Paktunkhwa province of Pakistan. It contains dense forests, alpine meadows, and high mountain peaks, as well as agricultural and urban areas. In the past 50 years there has been a rapid conversion of forested regions into agricultural lands, which then can result in excessive soil erosion. This change in land use and subsequent erosion can affect the physical and chemical properties of a soil. In this research study, we sampled soil from areas in the watershed with dense forests, moderate forests, and agricultural land, then tested those soil samples for various properties. Results showed that the land use and land cover significantly affected all soil parameters except for electrical conductivity and potassium levels. In particular, soil organic matter and organic carbon levels were much lower in the agricultural soils while sand content was elevated. These results impact farmers, land owners, scientists, and others involved in soil conservation efforts in Pakistan and elsewhere. Ways to minimize the amounts of illegal logging, as well as the effects of land conversion from forests to agricultural lands are needed to minimize the detrimental effects on soil physical and chemical properties.

Technical Abstract: In order to design sustainable land management plans or interventions it is important to understand the changes that occur as a result of Land use/Land cover change. The basic aim of this study was to assess the impact of land use/Land cover change on different soil physical and chemical parameters along with soil nutrients loss within Miandam watershed of Swat valley, Pakistan. The study area was divided into three major types on the basis of Land use Land cover (LULC) type (Dense forest, Moderate forest and Agriculture land). A total number of 81 soil samples were collected from the study area (27 from each land use) through stratified random sampling and were transferred to the laboratory. The prepared soil samples were then tested for various physico-chemical properties i.e., pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, organic carbon, sand, silt, clay, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper and zinc. Results showed that LULC significantly effects all soil parameters except electrical conductivity and potassium. The increase in the agricultural activities cause an increase in the land farming areas which leads to increase rate of deforestation in the valley. Thus, the present study results reveal that the use of the soil for agriculture instead of keeping them naturally or in other words changes in the land use land cover effects the soil physico-chemical properties and the overall nutrients availability.