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Ecotone Dynamics and Stability from Soil Perspective: Forest-Agriculture Land Transition

1
Department of Geology and Soil Science, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Department of Production Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(10), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9100228
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 16 October 2019 / Accepted: 18 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility)
Topographic and edaphic gradients usually arrange ecotonal boundaries. Although the interrelationships between vegetation and edaphic factors are relevant in most types of ecotones, they are not adequately documented. The clearly defined forest-agriculture land ecotone at the Proklest experimental site of the Training Forest Enterprise (T.F.E), Masaryk Forest Křtiny, Czech Republic presents an opportunity to investigate these inter-relationships. Our aim was to determine ecotone effects reflected by changes in soil reaction and other soil physical properties across this clearly defined forest-agriculture land ecotone. We selected eleven sampling spots: four in the forest zone, four in the agriculture land, and three in the ecotone zone between the forest and agriculture land. Every month from April to November, soil samples were collected at a depth of 5 cm. All the soil samples collected were examined for minimal air capacity, actual and potential soil reaction, and maximum capillary water capacity. The forest soil was slightly more acidic when compared to the agriculture soil, with the ecotone zone recording the lowest pH value. The maximum capillary water capacity was higher in the forest region than in the agriculture land with a sharp decline in the ecotone zone where the lowest value was recorded. The minimum air capacity was much higher in the forest region than in the agriculture land. There was a marked decline in the ecotone region where the lowest value was observed. Our results highlight the importance of soil as a factor affecting the distribution of plant communities along ecotones. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecotone; biomes; maximum capillary water; actual and potential soil reaction ecotone; biomes; maximum capillary water; actual and potential soil reaction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Danso Marfo, T.; Datta, R.; Vranová, V.; Ekielski, A. Ecotone Dynamics and Stability from Soil Perspective: Forest-Agriculture Land Transition. Agriculture 2019, 9, 228.

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