Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Anthropogenic evolution of dark gray forest-steppe soils in the southern part of the Central Russian Upland

  • Yu. G. Chendev
  • A. L. Aleksandrovskii
  • O. S. Khokhlova
  • L. G. Smirnova
  • L. L. Novykh
  • A. V. Dolgikh
Genesis and Geography of Soils


A sequence of dark gray forest soils developing under a virgin broadleaved forest and under croplands used for 100 and 150 years was studied in the southern part of the forest-steppe zone on the Central Russian Upland. The application of multiple study methods for these objects made it possible to trace the evolutionary changes in the soil properties during the 150-year-long period of regular plowing. Several important trends in the soil development under the impact of the cultivation were revealed: (a) an increase in the thickness of the humus layer (according to the measurements at 20 points for each of the objects), (b) an increase in the amount of mole tunnels, (c) a decrease in the coefficient of the textural differentiation of the soil profile (with respect to the clay content), (d) an increase in the contents and reserves of the major nutrients upon a stable pool of humus in the upper meter, and (e) some alkalization and carbonization of the profile. Powdery accumulations of carbonates and whitish calcareous coatings on the faces of prismatic peds appeared at a depth of more than 130 cm. The plowed soils contained thin deep fissures, the surface of which was covered by dark-colored clayey-humus coatings at the depth of 50–110 cm. The radiocarbon age of the humus in these coatings was 500–1000 years younger than the age of the humus in the soil mass between the fissures. This set of features attests to the evolution of the plowed dark gray forest soils into chernozems under the impact of plowing.


Humus EURASIAN Soil Science Forest Steppe Gray Forest Soil Forest Steppe Zone 
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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu. G. Chendev
    • 1
  • A. L. Aleksandrovskii
    • 2
  • O. S. Khokhlova
    • 3
  • L. G. Smirnova
    • 4
  • L. L. Novykh
    • 1
  • A. V. Dolgikh
    • 2
  1. 1.Belgorod State UniversityBelgorodRussia
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil ScienceRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow OblastRussia
  4. 4.Research Institute of AgricultureBelgorodRussia

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