Impact of land use and seasonal variations on soil ecosystem under arid environmental conditions

Rehmat Ullah, Khalid Saif Ullah Khan, Shehzada Munawar Mehdi, Ahmad Nadeem, Fareeha Habiab, Sobia Noor and Muhammad Iqbal

ABSTRACT    The experiments were carried out to evaluate dynamic trend of soil microbes in various seasons on existing cropping patterns on sloppy arable lands of Kahuta area. For this purpose, a series of experiments were initiated to monitor the soil biological status under wheat-maize and wheat-mungbean cropping patterns. From both patterns, soil samples were taken in summer, winter, spring and autumn seasons. The results differed significantly for soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN), soil microbial biomass phosphorus (SMBP) in all seasons under wheat-maize and wheat-mungbean cropping patterns. Similarly, soil enzymes, particularly soil dehydrogenase (SDH) and soil alkaline phosphatase (SAP) activated heterogeneously in these sites throughout the year and had a significant correlation with legume containing cropping pattern than that of non-leguminous based cropping pattern. Moreover, results also revealed that the summer season restored higher soil biological dynamics (SMBC, SMBN, SMBP, SDH and SAP activities) as compared to winter, spring and autumn seasons. However, throughout the season, the SMBC, SMBN, SMBP, SDH and SAP (activity) was also related to soil water contents. Over all, SMBC and SAP activities were recorded more in wheat-maize cropping pattern. The SMBN, SMBP, SDH activity was higher in Trititcum aestivum L. – Vigna radiata L. cropping patterns. Average soil moisture contents and soil fertility status in mungbean based cropping pattern was found better. The average soil moisture contents (ASMC) was available less in maize based cropping pattern. Keeping in view the findings of this study, it is suggested that kahuta areas must include mungbean in their existing cropping patterns based on optimum nutrient availability from soil profile, appropriate soil biological health and moisture availability scenario in the arid environment. © 2020 Department of Agricultural Sciences, AIOU

Keywords: Arid, Enzymatic activities, Mungbean, Soil microbial biomass, Wheat

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