Pedosphere 28(4): 617--631, 2018
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2018 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Contrasted Impact of Land Abandonment on Soil Erosion in Mediterranean Agriculture Fields
Jesús RODRIGO-COMINO1,2, Carlos MARTÍNEZ-HERNÁNDEZ3, Thomas ISERLOH2, Artemi CERDÀ4
1Instituto de Geomorfología y Suelos, Department of Geography, University of Málaga, Málaga 29071(Spain)
2Department of Physical Geography, Trier University, Trier 54286(Germany)
3Department of Geography, University of Murcia, Murcia 30001(Spain)
4Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Valencia 46010(Spain)
Corresponding Author:Jesús RODRIGO-COMINO
ABSTRACT
      Abandonment of agricultural land results in on-and off-site consequences for the ecosystem. In this study, 105 rainfall simulations were carried out in agriculture lands of the Mediterranean belt in Spain (vineyards in Málaga, almond orchards in Murcia, and orange and olive orchards in Valencia) and in paired abandoned lands to assess the impact of land abandonment on soil and water losses. After abandonment, soil detachment decreased drastically in the olive and orange orchards, while vineyards did not show any difference and almond orchards registered higher erosion rates after the abandonment. Terraced orchards of oranges and olives recovered a dense vegetation cover after the abandonment, while the sloping terrain of almond orchards and vineyards enhanced the development of crusts and rills and a negligible vegetation cover resulted in high erosion rates. The contrasted responses to land abandonment in Mediterranean agricultural lands suggest that land abandonment should be programmed and managed with soil erosion control strategies for some years to avoid land degradation.
Key Words:  erosion rate,Mediterranean crop,rainfall simulation,terrace,vegetation cover
Citation: Rodrigo-Comino J, Martínez-Hernández C, Iserloh T, Cerdà A. 2018. Contrasted impact of land abandonment on soil erosion in Mediterranean agriculture fields. Pedosphere. 28(4): 617–631.
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