SOIL Studies

SOIL Studies

2012, Vol 1, Num, 2     (Pages: 088-098)

Influences of Some Shrubs on Soil Properties in the Çanakkale Rangelands

M. Parlak 1 ,A. Gökkuş 2 ,A. Özaslan Parlak 2

1 Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Üniversitesi, Lapseki Meslek Yüksekokulu, Çanakkale
2 Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Üniversitesi, Ziraat Fakültesi Tarla Bitkileri Bölümü, Çanakkale

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Maquis lands of Mediterranean climate zone are generally used for animal grazing and there is no research on impacts of shrubs on soil characteristics. Therefore, the aim of this study is impacts of some shrubs on physical and chemical characteristics of soils were investigated. Plant material of the study is composed of jerusalem thorn (Paliurus spinachristi Miller), gall oak (Quercus infectoria Oliv.), kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L.), mock privet (Phillyrea latifolia L.) and prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.) shrubs. In order to determine the effects of these shrub species on soil, soil samples taken from canopy and 0-10 cm depth in open land were examined in terms of following parameters including pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (N), organic carbon (C), available phosphorus (P), carbonate content, cation exchange capacity (CEC), exchangeable K, Ca, Mg and Na as well as texture, aggregate stability and bulk density. Independent t-test was used for the analysis of the obtained data. In the study, all the soil samples taken from canopy were found to contain significantly higher amount of total N, CEC, exchangeable K, Ca, Mg and Na (p < 0.05). Similarly, soils under shrubs were determined to contain higher organic C and available P; however, the difference in organic C was found significant only in jerusalem thorn (p = 0.000) and gall oak (p = 0.023), while the difference in available P was only significant in kermes oak (p = 0.015) and prickly juniper (p = 0.022). Bulk density of the soil was lower in all shrub samples taken from canopy, which was significant in kermes oak, mock privet and prickly juniper (p < 0.01). No significant difference was detected in clay, silt, sand and aggregate stability of the soils. In conclusion, shrubs widely present in maquis make significant contributions to sustainability of soil fertility by improving the chemical (excluding CaCO3) and physical (excluding texture) properties of the soils.

Keywords : Aggregate stability, bulk density, Jerusalem thorn (Paliurus spina-christi Miller), Prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.), soil nutrients