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The effects of artificial drainage on soil characteristics in a peat land ecosystem in southeast Turkey

In this study, morphological, micro morphological and chemical soil characteristics of an artificially drained peat land located in the southern Turkey were investigated to assess the effects of excessive oxidation and fire.

Year of Publication2010

Artificial drainage for agriculture causes the alteration of peatlands through excessive oxidation and fires. Peats lose their functions and also contribute to the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In this study, morphological, micro morphological and chemical soil characteristics of an artificially drained peat land located in the southern Turkey were investigated to assess the effects of excessive oxidation and fire. Soil samples described as sapric, hemic, or burnt were collected along four transects on the peatland. The results clearly indicated that burning process resulted in significant decrease in total carbon and nitrogen content of soils since 1950 whereas pH, ash content, available P and K contents were increased. Interpretations recognized as a degradation sequence after drainage. The results demonstrated that artificial drainage of peatlands for agricultural purposes leads to a change in organic soil properties. The carbon and nitrogen sink were depleted, C by about 2 x106 and N by about 0.1 x106 tons, and pH was raised above the level that is ideal for cropping, in a system that is not only completed changed but unsustainable without increasing soil inputs in the long term.

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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