Pedosphere 13(2): 173--180, 2003
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2003 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Characterization of soil quality under vegetable production along an urban-rural gradient
ZHANG Ming-Kui, WANG Mei-Qing, LIU Xing-Mei, JIANG Hong and XU Jian-Ming
College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029 (China)
ABSTRACT
      Human activity and urbanization result in urban-rural environmental gradients. Understanding effect of the gradients on soil properties is necessary for management of the soils around urban areas. In this study, soil quality of some vegetable fields was characterized along an urban-rural gradient in Shaoxing County, Zhejiang Province. Fifteen soil physical and chemical properties were evaluated by using principal component analysis. Results showed that there was a great variation in the soil quality along the gradient. From rural to urban zones, soil organic matter, water-stable aggregates, cation exchangeable capacity (CEC), total N and P, and available K increased, whereas soil pH value decreased. In addition, Pb, Cu, Ni, Co, Zn and Cr in the soils tended to be accumulated toward the urban zone. Sequential chemical extraction showed that mobility of all the heavy metals in the soils tended to increase from the rural to the urban zones. The variation of soil properties accounted for by the first principal component was significantly explained by the difference in application rates of municipal wastes.
Key Words:  principal component analysis, soil quality, urban-rural environmental gradient
Citation: Zhang, M. K., Wang, M. Q., Liu, X. M., Jiang, H. and Xu, J. M. 2003. Characterization of soil quality under vegetable production along an urban-rural gradient. Pedosphere. 13(2): 173-180.
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