The aim of the study was to investigate the potential decline in soil quality attributes as a result of land use change in Lordegan area in the Chaharmahal Va Bakhtiari Province, Western Iran. Two of the most important factors associated with soil quality concept are: (1) soil has both inherent and dynamic properties and (2) soil quality assessment must reflect biological, chemical and physical properties. Land use changes, especially cultivation of deforested land may rapidly diminish soil quality. Surface (0 to 30 cm) soil samples were taken from five slope positions (summit, shoulder, backslope, footslope and toeslope) of rangeland and adjacent cultivated land according to randomized complete block design. These results showed that the destroyed, and tillage practices led to an decrease in soil organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (TN), cation exchange capacity (CEC), extractable manganese (Mn), clay and mean weight diameter (MWD) by 63.04, 61.82, 30.27, 67.71, 59.49 and 10.82%, respectively, while increased soil bulk density (BD) by 21.42%. It could be that rangeland destroyed, land use change and long-term cultivation would decrease soil quality attributes.
Key words: Bulk density, land use, manganese, organic matter, rangeland, soil quality.
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