Land use planning in Ahar area (Iran) using MicroLEIS DSS
 
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1
Institute for Natural Resources and Agrobiology (IRNAS), Centre of the Science Research Council (CSIC), Avda. Reina Mercedes 10, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
2
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, 51666-16471, Tabriz, Iran
3
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
 
Int. Agrophys. 2008, 22(3): 277–286
 
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ABSTRACT
The decision support system, MicroLEIS DSS, was applied to evaluate the land use planning in Ahar area, East Azarbaijan. In this way 6 agro-ecological land evaluation models constituents of this DSS software were selected in order to make strategies related to land evaluation at a regional level, such as segregation of agricultural lands, restoration of marginal areas, diversification of crop rotation, and identification of vulnerability areas. Results obtained from each evaluation models are presented and discussed in this research work. Soil morphological and analytical data were collected from 44 soil profiles representative of the study area and stored in SDBm plus database. Three control sections: 0-50, 25-50, and 0-100 cm were calculated by ‘soil layer generator’ to apply and run the models. Results show that in Ahar area, 45% of the total extension was classified as good capability land for agricultural uses. However, almost 12% of total area must be reforested by suitable shrub species, and not dedicated to agriculture, to minimize the land degradation. Additionally, soils with vertic properties used to present an excellent capability for most of the traditional crops. Wheat-alfalfa-soybean was selected as the best crop rotation. In summary, MicroLEIS DSS tool appears to be useful in semi-arid regions, such as East Azarbaijan (Iran), to formulate sustaining agro-ecological systems.
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