Physical and chemical degradation of grassland soils in semi-arid regions: A case from Central Anatolia, Turkey
The aim of this study is to determine some hydro-physical and chemical characteristics of soils on the grassland areas under semi-arid conditions in terms of soil degradation processes. Three sampling plots of 20 x 20 m size were selected from the Emen Plain as Locations-I, II and III basing on the area covered with vegetation and visual soil properties; and total 108 soil samples from 2 points and 3 depth levels (0 20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm) of each sampling plot. Soils of the research area are in degradation process in terms of some physical and chemical characteristics. It was observed that soil properties (i.e. bulk density, total porosity, organic matter, pH, electrical conductivity and saturated hydraulic conductivity) in Location-II and Location-Ill changed negatively in comparison to Location-I almost at all depths. In the Location-Ill grassland, bulk density, pH, electrical conductivity and Na + values are higher than those in Location-I, whereas the organic matter, total porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity values are low. Grassland area is vulnerable to erosion. High Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) values in Locations-II and III indicates the sodicity problem in these areas. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.