Land Cover

This paper aims to contribute to the limited understanding and recognition of soil ecosystem services (SoES) in spatial planning. In light of its critical role in climate crises and due to its global degradation, soil has drawn considerable attention in the recent global agenda. As one of its vital services, soil serves as a terrestrial carbon pool, which significantly contributes to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere (EEA, 2012).
Climate, land use and land cover (LULC) changes are among the primary driving forces of soil loss. Decoupling their effects can help in understanding the magnitude and trend of soil loss in response to human activities and ecosystem management. Here, the RUSLE model was applied to estimate the spatial-temporal variations of soil loss rate in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) area during 2001–2015, followed by a scenario design to decouple the effects of climate and LULC changes. The results showed that increasing rainfall generated as much as 2.90 × 107 t soil loss in the TGR area.
Soil organic matter (OM) stratification and macro and micro fauna are both good indicators for the evaluation of soil ecological functioning, which is interrelated with nutrient cycles. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, responses of the degree of OM stratification with soil depth expressed as a ratio, and belowground biota to forest degradation and land cover changes have received little attention, particularly in northern Iran.
It is commonly acknowledged that ants improve the hydraulic properties of soils in which they build their nests. To date, however, most studies of such soil modifications have focused on one ant species and one type of ecosystem, rather than investigating how different ant species affect different types of land cover within the same landscape. Our study focused on modifications to water infiltration and surface texture of Haplic Luvisols by two ant species—one of them present only in a forest and the other present only in a pasture.