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Title: The human impact on the transformation of juniper forest landscape in the western part of the Pamir-Alay range (Tajikistan)
Authors: Rahmonov, Oimahmad
Szczypek, Tadeusz
Niedźwiedź, Tadeusz
Myga-Piątek, Urszula
Rahmonov, Małgorzata
Snytko, Walerian A.
Keywords: Human impact; Juniper landscapes; Juniper seravschanica; Juniperus semiglobosa; Landscape changes; Soil-vegetation link
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Environmental Earth Sciences, Vol. 76, iss. 8 (2017), art. no. 324, s. 1-17
Abstract: Detailed analyses were conducted of human impact on juniper forest landscapes occurring within the Zarafshan Range (Pamir-Alay). Juniperus seravschanica and J. semiglobosa belong to forest-forming species in Central Asia. At present, juniper forests all over Tajikistan are seriously threatened as a result of excessive logging and cattle grazing. The aim of this paper is to present juniper forest transformation as a result of human activities as well as the diversity of soil properties in the organic and humus horizons in the altitudinal system of soil zonation. Three groups of phytocoenoses were distinguished: those with a dominant share of Juniperus seravschanica; those with a dominant share of J. semiglobosa; and mixed. Associations with Juniperus seravschanica and J. semiglobosa feature several variants of phytocoenoses with dominant species: Artemisia lehmanniana, A. dracunculus, Eremurus olgae, Festuca sulcata, Ligularia thomsonii, Stipa turkestanica, Thymus seravschanicus, and Ziziphora pamiroalaica. The collected soil samples differ in their granulometric composition. Gravelly cobble fractions >2 mm are dominant; the share of sandy particles <2 mm is much lower (about 10–20%). Fraction 0.5–0.05 attains 35% on average. The Corg content of the soil varied from 0.26 to 11.40% in the humus horizon (A) and from 4.3 to 25% in the organic (O). Similar relationships were reported in the case of Ntot concentration. A clear relationship can be observed between concentrations of Corg and Ntot. Soil pH varied, ranging from very low acidic (pH 5.5) to neutral (pH 8.5). The content of available P varied; high concentrations were noted in organic (O) (40.46–211 mg kg−1) and mixed horizons (OA) (2.61–119 mg kg−1). Maximum accumulations of Pavail (1739.6 mg kg−1) and Ptot (9696 mg kg−1) were observed at a site heavily affected by intense grazing. Concentrations of Mgavail varied from 116 to 964 mg kg−1. Most of the analysed soil profiles lacked an organic horizon; only thin humus occurred.
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-017-6643-4
ISSN: 1866-6280
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