Effects of long-term medieval agriculture on soil properties: A case study from the Kislovodsk basin, Northern Caucasus, Russia Effects of long-term medieval agriculture on soil properties: A case study from the Kislovodsk basin, Northern Caucasus, Russia

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Vol15 No.6: 1171-1185

Title】Effects of long-term medieval agriculture on soil properties: A case study from the Kislovodsk basin, Northern Caucasus, Russia

Author】CHERNYSHEVA Elena1*; KHOMUTOVA Tatiana1; FORNASIER Flavio2; KUZNETSOVA Tatiana1; BORISOV Alexandr1

Addresses】1 Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya 2, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow region, Russia; 2 CREA – VE Consiglio per la ricerca in Agricoltura e l'Analisi della Economia Agraria, Centro di Ricerca Viticoltura ed Enologia, Via Trieste 23, 34170 Gorizia, Italy

Corresponding author】CHERNYSHEVA Elena

Citation】Chernysheva E,Khomutova T, Fornasier F, et al. (2018) Effects of long-term medieval agriculture on soil properties: A case study from the Kislovodsk basin, Northern Caucasus, Russia. Journal of Mountain Science 15(6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4666-7

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4666-7

Abstract】The chemical properties and biological activities of soils were studied in the vicinity of the medieval settlement Podkumskoe-3 in the Kislovodsk basin (Northern Caucasus, Russia). Between the 5th and 8th centuries this area was ploughed regularly, but it was then abandoned up to the present day. It has been established that past human activity leads to soil undergoing significant transformations in terms of microbial communities and enzyme activity, and that such changes are maintained over long periods. Long-term manuring in the middle of the first millennium AD led to an increase in organic carbon content and the accumulation of nitrate nitrogen. Soils of ancient abandoned fields are associated with increases in microbial biomass, number of saprotrophic bacteria, urease activity, and fungal mycelium biomass. The observed changes in the microbiological and biochemical properties of soil were conditioned by secondary anthropogenically induced succession after the abandonment of arable lands.

Keywords】Anthropogenic soils; Manuring; Enzyme activity; Microbial biomass; North Caucasus; Middle Ages