African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6623

Full Length Research Paper

The effects of land use/land cover change and demographic processes (1950 -2008) on soil properties in the Gökçay catchment, Turkey

C. Göl1*, M. Çakir2, S. EdiÅŸ1 and H. Yilmaz1
1Departmant of Watershed Management, Faculty of Forestry, University of Çankiri Karatekin, 18200, Çankiri, Turkey. 2Departmant of Soil Science and Ecology, Faculty of Forestry, University of Çankiri Karatekin, 18200, Çankiri, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 January 2010
  •  Published: 04 July 2010


The objective of this study was to analyse the effects of land use/land cover change (1955 - 2008) and migration (1950 - 2008) on the hydrological processes and soil physical properties in the Gökçay river catchment. The study area is located in Çankiri province, Ilgaz district, and Gökçay river catchment (41°04'N, 40°55'E). The necessary data were obtained from forest stand maps (1955 and 2008) and evaluated with geographic information system in order to introduce the effect of this land use/land cover change on soil properties and to assess the patterns during a 53-years period. The largest change has been in the forest openings. The forest has decreased from 25 to 7%. These areas have been used as forest, agricultural and settlement areas. Five sites were sampled in an unchanged forest, cultivated areas, natural rangeland, and sites that were changed from cultivated area to rangeland 10 and 50 years ago. Bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, water stable aggregates, soil organic matter and total nitrogen decreased in cultivated soil as compared to the forest soil. The soil properties of the permanent rangelands and of the cultivated field, converted to rangelands 10 and 50 years ago, were similar. The result showed that it is important to understand effects of spatial and temporal changes of land use/land cover and demographic structure their effects on landscape pattern and soil properties to dis-close the implications for land use planning and management.


Key wordsLand use/ land cover, demographic processes, soil, catchment.