Land use change impact on soil organic matter. Loess landscape case study

Agnieszka Sosnowska 1
  • 1 Institute of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw


The aim of this article is to establish how land use change influences soil organic matter content in the loess landscape. The research was conducted near Krasnystaw in the Lublin Upland, in forest, on arable land and on abandoned lands at various stages of secondary succession.

During the field research, samples were collected from the upper soil layer and analyzed for organic carbon content, fractional composition of humus compounds and soil reaction. The results obtained indicate that the impact of land use change manifests itself in a change of the soil reaction, which turns from neutral or slightly acid into acid. The tillage system reduces organic matter in the soil and increases the humic acids ratio, whereas abandonment of the land causes an evident increase in the soil’s organic matter content and the fulvic acids ratio. These results allow us to state that land use change has a rapid impact on the geochemical properties of the landscape (which can be noticed as soon as 5 years after the land is abandoned).

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