|Title||Effects of different land uses (abandoned farmland, intensive agriculture and forest) on soil hydrological properties in Southern Spain|
|Author(s)||Lucas-Borja, Manuel Esteban; Zema, Demetrio Antonio; Antonio Plaza-álvarez, Pedro; Zupanc, Vesna; Baartman, Jantiene; Sagra, Javier; González-Romero, Javier; Moya, Daniel; Heras, Jorge de las|
|Source||Water 11 (2019)3. - ISSN 2073-4441|
Soil Physics and Land Management
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Soil hydrological conductivity - Soil physico-chemical properties - Soil water repellency - Vegetal cover - Vegetation cover|
A detailed knowledge of soil water repellency (SWR) and water infiltration capacity of soils under different land uses is of fundamental importance in Mediterranean areas, since these areas are prone to soil degradation risks (e.g., erosion, runoff of polluting compounds) as a response to different hydrological processes. The present study evaluates the effects of land uses on SWR and soil hydraulic conductivity (SHC) by direct measurements at the plot scale in three areas representing (1) intensive agricultural use, (2) abandoned farmland, and (3) a forest ecosystem in Southern Spain under Mediterranean climatic conditions. The physico-chemical properties and water content of the experimental soils were also measured. Significant SWR and SHC differences were found among the analyzed land uses. Forest soils showed high SWR and low SHC, while the reverse effects (that is, low SWR and high SHC) were detected in soils subjected to intensive agriculture. Organic matter and bulk density were important soil properties influencing SWR and SHC. The study, demonstrating how land uses can have important effects on the hydrological characteristics of soils, give land managers insights into the choice of the most suitable land use planning strategies in view of facing the high runoff and erosion rates typical of the Mediterranean areas.