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Título : Water erosion risk assessment and impact on productivity of a Venezuelan soil
Autor : Lobo, Deyanira
Lozano, Zenaida
Delgado, Fernando
Palabras clave : erosion risk index
soil productivity index
Typic haplustalf
Fecha de publicación : 30-Nov-2005
Editorial : Elsevier
Citación : Catena 64(2–3): 297–306. 2005
Resumen : Soil losses affect the physical, chemical and biological soil properties and as a consequence reduce soil productivity. Erosion reduces or eliminates root-explorable soil depth and crop available water, selectively decreases the nutrient and organic matter content, and exposes soil layers with unsuitable characteristics for crop growth. Yield is hence assumed to be a function of root growth, which in turn is a function of the soil environment. In order to evaluate the water erosion impact on soil properties and productivity, a study was carried out on a Typic Haplustalfs soil, with sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench), located in Chaguaramas in the Central Plains of Venezuela. Four different study locations with the same soil type, with slopes ranging from 3% to 6% and with different levels of erosion were selected: Chaguaramas I (slightly eroded), Chaguaramas II, (moderately eroded), Chaguaramas III (moderately eroded), and Chaguaramas IV (severely eroded). A sorghum–livestock farming system was introduced 30 years ago. Secondary tillage with a disc harrow (without mulch on the topsoil) was applied for seedbed preparation. Fertilizers and pesticides were applied uniformly over the entire fields. Soil samples from each horizon were analysed for particle size distribution, water retention, bulk density, pH and organic matter content. The relative production potential was estimated using the Productivity Index developed by Pierce et al. [Pierce, F.C., W.E. Larson, R.H. Dowdy and W.A. Graham. 1983. Productivity of soils: assessing long-term changes due to erosion. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 38 39–44.], and adapted to the methodology proposed by Delgado [Delgado F. 2003. Soil physical properties on Venezuelan steeplands: applications to conservation planning. The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics. College on Soil Physics. 11 pp.] for Venezuelan soil conditions. The Productivity Index (PI) could estimate the tolerable rate of soil productivity loss. A soil erosion risk was assessed by the Erosion Risk Index (ERI) taking into account the soil hydrological characteristics (infiltration–runoff ratio), rainfall aggressiveness and topography (slope). The Productivity Index (PI) and the Erosion Risk Index (ERI) were used to classify the lands for soil conservation priorities, for conservation requirements and for alternative land uses. The results showed that: (a) the Productivity Index (PI) decreased with increasing level of erosion, (b) the Productivity Index (PI) was mainly affected by changes in available water storage capacity, bulk density and pH, (c) the erosion risk (ERI) was strongly affected by slope gradient and rainfall aggressiveness, (d) the areas were classified as critical lands and super-critical lands, with high to very high soil conservation requirements, depending on the level of soil erosion.
Descripción : Lobo et al., Catena. 2005
ISSN : 0341-8152
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