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Dumitru Nistor Nelu Popa Doina Nistor Cosmin Hurjui the Results of Long Term Application of Conservation Practices in Tutova Rolling Hills

Dumitru Nistor Nelu Popa Doina Nistor Cosmin Hurjui the Results of Long Term Application of Conservation Practices in Tutova Rolling Hills

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Published by Cosmin Hurjui
Article communicated at European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) Congress, Palermo, Italy, 2007
Article communicated at European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) Congress, Palermo, Italy, 2007

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Published by: Cosmin Hurjui on Sep 08, 2011
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The results of long-term application of conservation practices in TutovaRolling Hills, Eastern Romania, in terms of soil erosion control, nutrientsbalance and soil compaction
Dr. Dumitru NISTOR
1
, dr. Nelu POPA
1
, dr. Doina NISTOR
1
, dr. Cosmin HURJUI
1*
1
Research and Development Centre for Soil Erosion Control Perieni,PO Box 1 Barlad, 731240 Barlad, Vaslui County, Romania
Abstract
The study was carried out on three representative small watersheds in Tutova Rolling Hills, EasternRomania, which include the whole range of natural conditions, slopes, soils and soil conservation practices. Theland use of the study area was, for more than 40 years, annual and perennial cropping. Soil erosion wasdetermined on standard runoff plots located in Upper Tarnii Valley, all with a cropping history, and fullyinstrumented for measuring runoff and soil loss under different conditions concerning vegetative cover.As an alternative of conventional measurements, the 137-Cs technique has been used for determining soilloss and sediment accumulation.The role of conservation measures during a couple of low frequency - high intensity historical rain eventshas been studied, illustrating both the damages and positive aspects.A comparative study has been done regarding soil erosion processes under two distinct types of landmanagement, after almost 14 years. Data concerning soil erosion rates from up-and-down oriented plots andfrom plots protected by soil conservation measures are presented.The results of 20 years experiments dealing with different cropping systems (seed bed preparationsystems) ranging from conventional to No tillage, are revised as alternative methods for soil protection in Crangwatershed.The results of 10 years experiments regarding soil compaction by wheel traffic in an experimental fieldlocated on the westerly looking hillside of Tarnii Valley are presented in order to illustrate potential relationshipsbetween climate, soil compaction and land management.
 
Key-words
: soil erosion, land use management, nutrients balance, soil compaction
Introduction
The problem of soil erosion control within Tutova Rolling Hills, Eastern Romania, hasbeen for many years the main concern of the researchers working with the Research andDevelopment Centre for Soil Erosion Control Perieni. Through the years many differentapproaches have been involved in order to find the optimum solutions for soil conservationand land management. The experimental techniques included both the classical standardcheck plots and, as an alternative to conventional measurements, the 137-Cs technique fordetermining soil losses and sediment accumulation.Experiments dealing with different cropping systems (seed bed preparation systems)ranging from conventional to No tillage, which even today have a very low extent inRomania, have also been carried out at RDCSEC Perieni.As long as soil compaction by wheel traffic is widely considered as a threat when dayafter day, more powerful, but more heavy machinery is involved, experiments dealing withsoil compaction due to the most common tractor in Romania were performed.The study territory, including the three representative watersheds, was highlyfragmented, containing a large number of small plots, long and narrow, and up-and-down hilloriented, according to local tradition (Figure 1). During the `60s and some of them during the`70s, the selected watersheds have undergone land reclamation works, levelling, moulding,and have been instrumented for soil erosion control. Depending on hill slope, the conservationpractices included: contour strip cropping, bench terraces, shelter belts, grassed waterways,different drainage systems, and serpentine and contour technological agricultural roads. InTarnii Valley, originally, the main conservation practice was contour strip cropping. After
 
more than forty years of adequate conservation exploitation, because of what is sometimescalled tillage erosion, agro-terraces occurred. Their rhythm of development was subject tomathematical modelling.Figure 1. The territory of RDCSEC Perieni before and after applicationof conservation practices
Experimental site and method
The study was carried out on three representative small watersheds in Tutova RollingHills, Eastern Romania, which include the whole range of natural conditions, slopes, soils andsoil conservation practices. The selected watersheds are as follows: Upper Tarnii Valley (300ha), with hillsides ranging from gentle to moderate slopes, Crang watershed (30 ha), withgentle to hilly slopes and Gheltag basin (100 ha), with a wider range of slopes going (rankingbetween) from gentle-flat to steep slopes. Depending on hill slope, the conservation practicesincluded: stripcropping, bench terraces, shelter belts, grassed waterways, different drainagesystems, and serpentine and contour technological agricultural roads. The land use of thestudy area was, for more than 40 years, annual and perennial cropping.The experimental sites are located on mollisols (Cambic Chernozem), developed on topof sandy loams (Table 1 and figure 3), moderately to highly eroded. Within the cultivatedtopsoil the nutrient content is as follows: 2.33% organic matter, 0.105% total nitrogen,0.039% total phosphorus.
Table 1
Cambic Chernozem, moderately to highly eroded in Tarnii ValleyHorizon DepthColor(moist)Particle sizedistributionBulk density(g/cm
3
)Humus(%)pHClay Silt SandAm 0-30 10YR 3/1 15.7 9.0 75.3 1.34 2.33 6.9A/B 31-62 10YR 4/4 16.3 9.9 73.8 1.46 1.54 7.3Bv 62-93 10YR 6/4 15.5 11.0 73.5 1.51 7.9C 93-110 2.5YR 8/4 19.6 16.0 64.4 1.63 8.0
 
 Figure 2. Tarnii Valley in 1966Figure 3. Soil profile in Cambic Chernozem, Tarnii Valley, Eastern Romania

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