Pedogenesisand Variability in Soil Properties in a Floodplain of aSemiarid Environment in Southwestern Sicily (Italy).

Salvatore Raimondi, Eliseo Perrone, Vito Barbera

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Abstract

We performed a pedological study of the variability in soilsin a floodplain area of a semiarid region in southwestern Sicily. Theobjectives of our research were to (i) investigate the role of parent material,erosion, and distribution processes on soil pedogenesis and horizondifferentiation; (ii) evaluate the statistical distribution of soilproperties; and (iii) interpret these distributions in terms of pedogenicand other processes. Our results showed that not all soil propertiesexamined followed a normal distribution and that even when logtransformed,the degree of normality of the soil salinity data did notimprove. Furthermore, principal component analysis was performedto investigate the role of parent material and erosion and distributionprocesses on soil pedogenesis and horizon differentiation. Althoughall soils tested had developed on alluvium, great variability was foundamong them, mostly related to the grain size of the substrates. Soils thathad developed on finer alluvium had higher clay content, cation exchangecapacity, exchangeable bases, soil salinity, exchangeable sodiumpercentage, and sometimes organic carbon accumulation with depthbecause of hydromorphic conditions and chemical stabilization by Ca++ions. Soils that had developed on coarser deposits showed a clear differentiationbetween the topsoil and subsoil in terms of a decrease in claycontent from the surface soil to the subsoil. The accumulation of clay onthe surface of a floodplain can result in a high risk of loss of productivitybecause of the significant relationship between clay content, hydromorphicconditions, and exchangeable sodium percentage
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)614-623
Numero di pagine10
RivistaSoil Science
Volume175
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science

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