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CHANGES IN ARABLE LAND USE IN SIBERIA IN THE 20TH CENTURY AND THEIR EFFECT ON SOIL DEGRADATION

 

W. Halicki, S.P. Kulizhsky

 

The paper presents issues related to soil degradation in Siberia caused by wind and water erosion, as the effects of changes in the Siberian agriculture in the 20th century. In order to understand the mechanism of changes in land management and their effects, i.e. the rate of erosion in the previous century, the article presents the development of agriculture from prehistoric times to the end of the 20th century. The paper presents the consequences of soil degradation, i.e. loss of surface layers of soil, humic compounds and biogenic compounds, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The range of erosion is also determined. The paper discusses the causes of the 20th century’s soil degradation, mainly by wind and water erosion; the actual range of erosion in agricultural areas; the importance of erosion effects on the environment and the economy of Siberia. There is reference also to conditions in the European continent as such. There is a need for changes that would stop this negative process. The paper notes some positive changes that have occurred in some Siberian regions, which provide a chance to limit or even eliminate the effects of erosive soil degradation.

Key words: soil degradation; intensive and extensive farming;

 

Eprint link:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00207233.2014.990807#abstract