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Conference Papers Year : 1999

Soil properties as affected by different land use practices in the Languedoc region of southern France

Abstract

Our objective was to determine changes in surface soil properties resulting from three different land use practices in the Languedoc region of southern France. The study site was located about 1 km south of Corconnes town (~ 30 km northwest of Montpellier). The land use systems compared with each other were : undisturbed scrubland (garrigue – G), 25-yr old fallow (F) with dense grass cover (Brachypodium retusum), young vineyard for 5-yr (YV) with inter-row spaces bare of vegetation, and vineyard for 15-yr (AV) mulched with dry vine shoots. The vineyard soils were more compact (bulk density ~ 1.47 g/cc) which was attributed to the loss of the organic-rich mineral horizons and the influence of the heavy machinery used in initial clearing of the land and the subsequent vineyard production for several years. Despite the textural similarity, soils under the G and F had 6 to 7 times more macroaggregates (1-2 mm) than soils under the vineyards. All the ecosystems differed significantly from each other in organic C and N. Undisturbed soil under G had the maximum C (41.8 mg/g) followed by the F system (30.5 mg/g) while the intensely cultivated soil (YV) had the minimum C contents (5.4 mg/g). Rainfall simulations were conducted in triplicate with the ORSTOM type apparatus (ASSELINE and VALENTIN, 1978). The tests were carried out on an area of 1m2. Each rainfall simulation was conducted for one hour with an intensity of 60mm/hr. The maximum runoff was observed in the garrigue and vineyard ecosystems, although the highest soil losses occurred in the vineyard soils. No significant soil loss occurred in the G and F soils. The soil loss for the G, F, YV and AV ecosystems were 3.89, 0.00, 160.3 and 83.3 g/m2, respectively. Lower soil loss in the AV than in the YV was attributed to the protective cover created by the mulching practice adopted by the growers.
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Dates and versions

ird-00278336 , version 1 (12-05-2008)

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M.A. Arshad, Jean Asseline, Didier Blavet, Georges de Noni, Jean-Yves Laurent, et al.. Soil properties as affected by different land use practices in the Languedoc region of southern France. Soils with Mediterranean Type of Climate : International Meeting, Jul 1999, Barcelone, Spain. pp.619-621. ⟨ird-00278336⟩

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