Dynamics of slope processes under changing land use conditions in young morainic landscapes, Western Lithuania
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Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Instituto Av. 1, Akademija LT-58344 Kėdainiai Distr., Lithuania
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Department of Soil Science and Landscape Management, Lwowska 1, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Publication date: 2020-01-09
Acceptance date: 2019-08-30
Int. Agrophys. 2020, 34(1): 43–55
The long-term field study (1995-2012) concerning soil erosion was conducted on an experimental slope-plot situated on a moraine hilly agricultural landscape of the southern-central Zemaiciai Uplands, Lithuania. The aim of the presented studies is to determine changes in the volume of soil loss under typical field crop rotation conditions with bare fallow and to estimate the impact of erosion on soil properties. Surface runoff and soil loss rates were measured on a bounded runoff plot draining to a collector tank that trapped both sediments and water. Changes in precipitation, rain intensity and land use substantially affected the rate of the erosion processes. It was found through a comparison of three-crop rotation periods that the highest intensity of slope soil transfer occurred during the time period of 2007-2012 (3rd crop rotation) due to extreme rainfall events. Developing the dynamics of vegetation cover to prevent soil erosion phenomena showed a significant difference in plant growth conditions and the suitability of various plants for soil protection. The lowest ratio of soil loss was measured on a hillslope covered by perennial grasses. The years characterized by the highest erosion rates were associated with bare fallow land use when soil losses were even 470 times higher than under perennial grasses.
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