عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the main factors accelerating soil erosion in the watersheds in Iran is improper management including overgrazing and improper land use changes of pastures into agriculture. This problem is true in the whole Karoon watershed. Therefore, the objective was to study the effects of land use changes on soil loss in Gorgak sub-watershed. The statistical design was split plot design with pasture and rain fed agriculture as main factors. A drop maker rainfall simulator with 40 mm/hr intensity and 30-minute rainfall period was used on five field locations
under two soil moisture conditions of air-dry and field capacity and three slope classes of 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40%. A total of 180 sediment and runoff measurements were made using the above rainfall simulator under field conditions for two land use systems of rain fed cereal and overgrazed pastures. All the measurements were done in triplicates (5 fields x 2 land uses×2 moisture content×3 slope classes×3 replicates = 180 plots). The results showed the soil loss under overgrazed and air-dry soil condition was 45.6 times more than the rain fed agriculture
under the similar soil moisture condition. However, the results showed the soil loss under overgrazed and field capacity soil moisture condition was 2.33 times more than the rain fed agriculture under similar soil moisture condition. Once the soil loss was compared for different slope classes of 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 slope percent, the results indicated the soil loss under overgrazed and air-dry soil condition were 4.77, 5.19, and 2.34 times more than the rain fed agriculture under similar soil moisture condition. Overall, soil loss under overgrazed condition
was 3.38 times more than rain fed agriculture. Therefore, although most soil conservationists generally believe that the rain fed agriculture in Iran is very improper managed and it has high soil erosion rates but the results of this study showed the overgrazed pastures in the north Karoon watershed need much more priority for any soil loss measures and controls.