Comparison of wheat and safflower cultivation areas in terms of total carbon and some soil properties under semi-arid climate conditions
- Artvin Coruh University, Forestry Faculty, Department of Soil and Ecology, Artvin, Turkey
Abstract. The aim of this study was to compare the soils of the wheat cultivation area (WCA) and the safflower cultivation area (SCA) within semi-arid climate zones in terms of their total carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur contents, particle size distribution, aggregate stability, organic matter content, and pH values. This study presents the results from the analyses of 140 soil samples taken at two soil layers (0–10 and 10–20 cm) in the cultivation areas. At the end of the study, it was established that there were significant differences between the cultivation areas in terms of soil physical properties such as total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), total sulphur (TS) contents and pH, while only the TN content was significantly different between the two soil layers. Moreover, significant differences were identified between the cultivation areas in terms of soil physical properties including clay and sand contents, aggregate stability, and organic matter content, whereas the only significant difference found among the soil layers was that of their silt content. Since safflower contains higher amounts of biomass than wheat, we found higher amounts of organic matter content and, therefore, higher amounts of TN and TS content in the soils of the SCA. In addition, due to the fact that wheat contains more cellulose – which takes longer to decompose – the TC content of the soil in the WCA was found to be higher than that in the SCA. The results also revealed that the WCA had a higher carbon storage capacity.