Soil Conservation

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.
Historically, tillage has been essential for seedbed preparation and weed control, but it has also accelerated soil degradation through erosion and loss of soil organic matter (SOM). Our objective was to quantify the changes in soil physical properties and earthworm abundance under six tillage treatments on an Endocalcic Chernozem (Loamic) soil (2016 and 2017).
As a response to the worldwide challenge raised by soil degradation, Conservation Agriculture (CA) was proposed to help restoring the three main soil functions, i.e. carbon transformation, nutrient cycling and structure maintenance. However, there is still a lack of integrative studies that assess the overall impact of CA on soil health. To fill the gap, Biofunctool®, a set of in-field indicators, was developed to monitor changes in soil biological functioning.