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Land 2014, 3(1), 282-299; doi:10.3390/land3010282

Interrelationships of Land Use/Cover Change and Topography with Soil Acidity and Salinity as Indicators of Land Degradation

1
Agriculture Biodiversity Section, Food Security and Environment Division, Ministry of Agriculture Development, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 13 March 2014
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Abstract

As soil is the basis of all terrestrial ecosystems, degraded soil means lower fertility, reduced biodiversity and reduced human welfare. Therefore the focus of this paper is on elucidating the influence of land use and land cover (LULC) change on two important soil quality indicators that are fundamental to effective measures for ameliorating soil degradation; namely soil acidity and soil salinity in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. First, Analysis of Variance was used to elucidate the effects of LULC categories on soil acidity and salinity. The results indicate that soils under Vineyard have significantly higher pH. In contrast there is no significant effect of LULC or its change on soil salinity. To further elucidate the complex interactions of these soil quality indicators with landscape attributes over 20 years and other terrain attributes, multivariate ordination techniques (correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis) were used. The results show that elevation exerted a more dominant influence on pH than the LULC types and their dynamics. In comparison, salinity of the soil appears to be higher in subsoil layers under woodland than under other LULC categories. The environmental implications of these interactions, as evidenced by this study, provide some insights for future land use planning in the region.
Keywords: soil salinity; soil acidity; canonical correspondence analysis; ANOVA; land use and land cover change; landform attributes soil salinity; soil acidity; canonical correspondence analysis; ANOVA; land use and land cover change; landform attributes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Manandhar, R.; Odeh, I.O.A. Interrelationships of Land Use/Cover Change and Topography with Soil Acidity and Salinity as Indicators of Land Degradation. Land 2014, 3, 282-299.

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