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Effects of Applied Land Use Strategies on Farmland Soils in the Southwestern Siberian Kulunda-Steppe

TitelEffects of Applied Land Use Strategies on Farmland Soils in the Southwestern Siberian Kulunda-Steppe
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGrunwald, L-C, Illiger, P, Stephan, E, Frühauf, M
Conference NameEGU General Assembly 2014
Date Published05/2014
PublisherGeophysical Research Abstracts
Conference LocationVienna
Call NumberEGU2014-14607

The Kulunda steppe in southwestern Siberia is one of the most intensely used agricultural regions in the world. The
study area of the KULUNDA project is the Kulunda steppe, which is a part of the conversion region created during
the so called “virgin land campaign” in the soviet era. Nowadays it is characterized by widespread soil degradation.
Despite the fact that agriculture is the basis of existence, land use practice is maladjusted to the local conditions. The
widespread soil degradation and accordingly the decreased soil humus content have negative effects on crop yields
in this region.With respect to climate change, the current study analyses the cause effect relationship between land
use practice and soil properties. In particular, different methods of soil cultivation will be tested and for each of
the cases the soil humus content, soil water, soil solute balance will be measured and compared. In addition, the
possibilities of soil carbon sequestration capacity will be analyzed. Furthermore, the study aims to achieve properly
adapted sustainable cropping systems to stabilize the yields and to increase the productivity of plant production
per spatial unit in this high vulnerable dry farming region. In 2012 the long term field trials started at three test
farms in different steppe biomes, containing different soil types from chernozems to kastanozems. Each of them
is characterized by a negative water balance. Successfully running cropping models, such as crop rotation, tilling
intensity, plant protection and nutrition strategies from south Canadian steppe regions were adapted to regional
agronomic needs. The traditional Russian cultivation system will be compared with two modern systems, including
no-tillage methods on specially randomized test plots. Additionally, these plots are equipped with soil moisture
monitoring systems to analyze the soil water content in different depths under the different cropping methods. The
expected results will not only deepen the understanding of the impact of agricultural land use practice on field
scale, but also largely contribute to the research on sustainable land management, rural development and climate
change and connect applied science with capacity building for local stakeholders.

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