عنوان مقاله [English]
Soil is a major reservoir of terrestrial carbon, but human activities around the world including land use change lead to a significant emission of carbon from the soil. It seems that soil organic carbon has been significantly decreased due to the land use changes over the last century in Iran. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of land use change (rangeland to agriculture) on organic carbon stock and some biological indices of soil quality (soil organic carbon (SOC), basal soil respiration (BSR), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial quotient (MQ), and metabolic coefficient (qCO2) in east of Khuzestan province. Soil samples were collected in eight replicates and two depths (0-15 and 15-30 cm) in both land uses. Results showed that except qCO2, the amount of TOC, MBC, and MQ in agricultural use decreased significantly as compared to rangeland. According to the results, C stock of agricultural lands in 0-15 and 15-30 cm layers was 19.5 and 8.3 Mgha-1, showing 34 and 47 percent decrease when compared to natural rangeland with 29.7 and15.9 Mgha-1 C stock. The SOC content in 0-10 cm soil layers of agricultural use and natural rangeland was (8.47 and 5.28 gKg-1) and (13.29, 6.55 gKg-1), respectively, demonstrating 60 and 71 percent reduction in agricultural lands. In addition, in 0-15 and 15-30 cm layers of agricultural lands, MBC (60 and 71 percent), MQ (37 and 65 percent) showed reduction and qCO2 increased 3-4 times when compared to natural rangeland. Results show that agricultural activities lead to considerable loss in total organic carbon and half of organic carbon stock in the soil. Limitation of organic carbon in agricultural land use makes noticeable reduction in MBC than other properties. Thus, it can be used as a suitable indicator for monitoring changes of organic carbon in the soil.
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