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The Impact of Land-Use on the Hierarchical Pore Size Distribution and Water Retention Properties in Loamy Soils

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Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Department of Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Institute of Landscape Ecology SAS, Štefánikova 3, 814 99 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020339
Received: 22 November 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 24 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Soil hydraulic properties are very sensitive to land-use in regions susceptible to physical degradation. Intensive agricultural practices often lead to soil compaction and erosion in the investigated area. The main goal of this paper was to evaluate the impact of land-use on the pore size distribution and water retention in loamy soils. The soil water retention curve (SWRC) combined the total porosity and the water retention of the undisturbed sample at 3, 10, 31, 100, 310, and 1000 hPa suctions and the disturbed sample at 1.5 MPa. The triple-exponential model approximated the curve’s course, and its derivative defined the distinct macro-, structural, and textural pore maxima, with characteristic suctions corresponding to SWRC inflection points. The soil organic carbon content had the greatest influence on the content of all three pore classes. The water retention properties followed the hierarchical pore size distribution in the four research plots and decreased in the identical orchard > forest > grassland > arable soil order. These results show that the orchard and forest areas are the most appropriate land uses with respect to porosity and water retention, while the grassland has not fully recovered after its conversion from arable soil and remains relatively poor, and the arable soil properties are the worst. View Full-Text
Keywords: land-use; soil water retention; triple-exponential model; pore size distribution land-use; soil water retention; triple-exponential model; pore size distribution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dlapa, P.; Hriník, D.; Hrabovský, A.; Šimkovic, I.; Žarnovičan, H.; Sekucia, F.; Kollár, J. The Impact of Land-Use on the Hierarchical Pore Size Distribution and Water Retention Properties in Loamy Soils. Water 2020, 12, 339.

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