Effects of afforestation on soil structure formation in two climatic regions of the Czech Republic

https://doi.org/10.17221/6/2015-JFSCitation:Podrázský V., Holubík O., Vopravil J., Khel T., Moser W.K., Prknová H. (2015): Effects of afforestation on soil structure formation in two climatic regions of the Czech Republic. J. For. Sci., 61: 225-234.
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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of agricultural land afforestation on soil characteristics. Two sites in two regions of the Czech Republic were evaluated, at lower as well as higher submountain elevations: in the regions of the Orlické hory Mts. and Kostelec nad Černými lesy, afforested, arable and pasture lands were compared for basic chemical and physical characteristics. It was determined: pH, CEC, exchangeable nutrients, SOC, bulk density, volume density, porosity (differentiated by pore size), water conductivity and soil aggregate stability. This study demonstrated the important influence of previous land use upon soil characteristics. The characteristics of the arable horizon can persist for many years; in forests, the mineral horizons (15–30 cm) can persist within 15–30 years after afforestation. Afforestation, which caused an increase in soil porosity by decreasing reduced bulk density and increasing capillary and gravitational pores (increasing the water-holding capacity and soil air capacity), is important for maintaining the soil stability. The positive effect on infiltration and retention capacity resulted not only from the presence of a forest overstorey, but also from the presence of permanent grass cover of pasture land.

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