Changes in the hydrophysical properties of peat soils under anthropogenic evolution
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Institute for Problems of Natural Resources Use and Ecology, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Staroborisovsky tr., 10 Minsk, 220114, Belarus, NATO fellowship holder in IA PAS
Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin 27, P.O. Box 201, Poland
Acceptance date: 2002-05-28
Int. Agrophys. 2002, 16(3): 219–226
The changes in the water characteristics of peat soils under anthropogenic evolution was investigated. It was stated that the transformation of organic formations as a result of drainage and agricultural utilization leads to changes in their physical pro- perties, i.e., it causes the increase of bulk density and ash content and the decrease of total porosity as well as the quantity of macro- and micropores. Water retention of drained peat soils which have reached a more advanced stage of decomposition is lower and the loss of water with the increase of the water potential is smaller. Anthropogenic evolution does not cause significant changes of effective useful retention (EUR) in the investigated organic soils. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is higher for deeper peat layers which have a small degree of decomposition than for upper layers where the decomposition reaches a higher level. Anthropogenic evolution of peat soils leads to the considerable increase of unsa- turated hydraulic conductivity at low soil water potentials or in the whole range of soil water potentials, only in the 25% of cases of the investigated organic soils is this relationship reversed.