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The Spatial Variability and Temporal Dynamics of Soil Properties as Affected by Visitors’ Pressure in an Urban Park

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2013.48A2007    3,270 Downloads   4,612 Views   Citations


Soil properties and their tempo-spatial heterogeneity, affected by visitors’ pressure, season and soil depth, were studied in an urban park in Tel-Aviv. Soil was sampled twice yearly in wet and dry seasons. In each season soil was sampled from areas exposed to differing levels of visitors’ pressure (VP), and designated “no VP (Control)”, “High VP” and “Low VP”. The soil samples were taken from two depths. For each soil sample, moisture, organic matter and soluble-ion contents, pH, and electrical conductivity were determined. It was found that different properties were differently affected by VP, seasonal dynamics and soil depth: organic matter content, penetration depth and sodium concentration were the most sensitive to VP; Soil moisture did not respond to VP, but sharply reflected seasonal changes; Calcium and organic matter contents were significantly affected by the soil depth. The sensitivity of soil properties to VP increased from March to July, and the upper soil layer was more sensitive to seasonal dynamics and VP than the deeper layer. Some soil properties exhibited “spotty” patterns; others a “frontal” one. Organic matter content was completely controlled by VP at both depths and in both seasons, and could be used as an indicator of soil status in recreation areas. Visitors activities included trampling and other anthropogenic factors that enhanced the spatial changes and seasonal dynamics of soil properties. Based on these measurements the intensity of soil degradation and dynamics was evaluated and used to describe the soil status in an urban park.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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H. Zhevelev, P. Sarah and A. Oz, "The Spatial Variability and Temporal Dynamics of Soil Properties as Affected by Visitors’ Pressure in an Urban Park," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 8B, 2013, pp. 52-64. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.48A2007.


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