Grazing Response of Topsoil Characteristics in Temperate Rangelands of Kashmir, Himalaya

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Research Scholar, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Pune

2 Sustainable Management at Salisbury University, USA

3 , Department of Geography and Geoinformatics, S.P. College, Pune

Abstract

The superficial strata of ground have been perennially exposed to the action of natural agents such as heat, cold and water. However, grazing agent was not different from them when soils were investigated from temperate rangelands of Kashmir and caused the soil compaction, soil structure degradation and loss of soil organic C and C/N ratio. Soils from three grazing intensities were investigated for physio-chemical parameters. The results showed that soil bulk density was the lowest in Low Grazed (LG) areas and critical in Highly Grazed (HG) areas. The results revealed that C storage in 0–10 cm of soil layers was decreased linearly with the increase of stocking rates. However, total soil nitrogen content in HG is 1.26 times more than LG. Therefore, grazing is responsible for major changes in the physical and chemical properties of the topsoil which may further cause the spatial heterogeneity followed by regional ecological problems.

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