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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 130941, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/130941
Research Article

Interactions of Soil Order and Land Use Management on Soil Properties in the Kukart Watershed, Kyrgyzstan

1Department of Ecology and Natural Resources, Jalal-Abad State University, 57 Lenin Street, 715600 Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan
2Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 3810 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79415, USA
3Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, 15th and Detroit, Room 201, Mail Stop 2122, Lubbock, TX 79409-2122, USA
4Department of Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Farming, Kyrgyz National Agrarian University, 68 Mederov Street, 720005 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Received 24 May 2012; Revised 17 July 2012; Accepted 30 July 2012

Academic Editor: D. L. Jones

Copyright © 2012 Zulfiia Sakbaeva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Surveys of soil properties related to soil functioning for many regions of Kyrgyzstan are limited. This study established ranges of chemical (soil organic matter (SOM), pH and total N (TN)), physical (soil texture), and biochemical (six enzyme activities of C, N, P, and S cycling) characteristics for nine profiles from the Kukart watershed of Jalal-Abad region in Kyrgyzstan. These profiles represent different soil orders (Inceptisols, Alfisols, and Mollisols) and land uses (cultivated, nut-fruit forests, and pasture). The Sierozem (Inceptisols) soils had the highest pH and contained the lowest SOM and TN contents compared to the Brown, Black-brown, and Meadow-steppe soils (Alfisols and Mollisols). Enzymatic activities within surface horizons (0–18 cm) typically decreased in the following order: forest > pasture > cultivated. Enzyme activity trends due to land use were present regardless of elevation, climate, and soil types although subtle differences among soil types within land use were observed. The significant reductions in measured soil enzyme activities involved in C, N, P, and S nutrient transformations under cultivation compared to pasture and forest ecosystems and lower values under Inceptisols can serve as soil quality indicators for land use decisions in the watershed.