History of East European Chernozem Soil Degradation; Protection and Restoration by Tree Windbreaks in the Russian Steppe

dc.contributor.author Chendev, Yury
dc.contributor.author Sauer, Thomas
dc.contributor.author Burras, C.
dc.contributor.author Hernandez Ramirez, Guillermo
dc.contributor.author Burras, Charles
dc.contributor.department Agronomy
dc.date 2018-02-18T14:32:15.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-29T23:02:49Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-29T23:02:49Z
dc.date.issued 2015-01-01
dc.description.abstract <p>The physiographic region of the Central Russian Upland, situated in the Central part of Eastern Europe, is characterized by very fertile grassland soils—Chernozems (Mollisols in the USDA taxonomy). However, over the last several centuries this region has experienced intense land-use conversion. The most widespread and significant land-use change is the extensive cultivation of these soils. As a result, Chernozems of the region that were some of the most naturally fertile soils in the world with thick A horizons had become, by the second half of the 19th century, weakly productive, with decreased stocks of organic matter. When not protected by plant cover, water and wind erosion degraded the open fields. The investigation of methods for rehabilitation and restoration of Chernozems resulted in the practice of afforestation of agricultural lands (mainly by windbreak planting). Preferences of agroforestry practices were initially connected with protection of cropland from wind and water erosion, improvement of microclimate for crop growth, and providing new refugia for wild animal and plant habitats. During the last several decades, tree windbreaks have begun to be viewed as ecosystems with great potential for atmospheric carbon sequestration, which plays a positive role in climate change mitigation. For the evaluation of windbreak influence on Chernozem soils, a study was developed with three field study areas across a climatic gradient from cool and wet in the north of the region to warm and dry in the south. Windbreak age ranged from 55–57 years. At each site, soil pits were prepared within the windbreak, the adjacent crop fields of 150 years of cultivation, and nearby undisturbed grassland. Profile descriptions were completed to a depth of 1.5 m. A linear relationship was detected between the difference in organic-rich surface layer (A + AB horizon) thickness of soils beneath windbreaks and undisturbed grasslands and a climate index, the hydrothermal coefficient (HTC). These results indicate that windbreaks under relatively cooler and wetter climate conditions are more favorable for organic matter accumulation in the surface soil. For the 0–100 cm layer of the Chernozems beneath windbreaks, an increase in organic C stocks comparable with undisturbed grassland soils (15–63 Mg·ha−1) was detected. Significant growth of soil organic matter stocks was identified not only for the upper 30 cm, but also for the deeper layer (30–100 cm) of afforested Chernozems. These findings illustrate that, in the central part of Eastern Europe, tree windbreaks improve soil quality by enhancing soil organic matter while providing a sink for atmospheric carbon in tree biomass and soil organic matter.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is published as Chendev, Yury G., Thomas J. Sauer, Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, and Charles Lee Burras. "History of east European chernozem soil degradation; protection and restoration by tree windbreaks in the Russian steppe." <em>Sustainability</em> 7, no. 1 (2015): 705-724. doi: <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su7010705" target="_blank">10.3390/su7010705</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/134/
dc.identifier.articleid 1135
dc.identifier.contextkey 10387906
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath agron_pubs/134
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/4460
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/134/2015_Burras_HistoryEast.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 19:51:49 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.3390/su7010705
dc.subject.disciplines Agricultural Science
dc.subject.disciplines Agronomy and Crop Sciences
dc.subject.disciplines Natural Resources and Conservation
dc.subject.disciplines Soil Science
dc.subject.keywords Russian Chernozems
dc.subject.keywords soil organic carbon
dc.subject.keywords degradation of soils
dc.subject.keywords restoration of soils
dc.subject.keywords afforestation
dc.title History of East European Chernozem Soil Degradation; Protection and Restoration by Tree Windbreaks in the Russian Steppe
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 8742ab5b-ceec-4fd2-9668-044f07dc0c45
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication fdd5c06c-bdbe-469c-a38e-51e664fece7a
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