Effects of deforestation on soil erosion and carbon sequestration in the soil

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Oktan E. , Kezik U. , Hacısalihoğlu S. , Yücesan Z.

Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, vol.31, no.02, pp.2239-2249, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 02
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Title of Journal : Fresenius Environmental Bulletin
  • Page Numbers: pp.2239-2249


Deforestation is among the most important environmental problems of the current century. With the destruction of forest ecosystems, which play an important role as natural carbon pools on global warming and climate change, the amount of carbon held above ground biomass and in the soil decreases, while soil loss through erosion increases significantly. In this study, effects of deforestation by converting of forest areas to agricultural lands and pasture areas on soil erosion and soil organic carbon stocks (SOCS) as well as the soil properties were investigated. Results showed that SOCS and soil erosion significantly changed (p<0.05) by the transformation of spruce and beech forests into agricultural and pasture areas over the 40 years. Consequently, via conversion of spruce forests into annual agricultural area in the ecosystem, the amount of erosion increased by 18 times, while the amount of SOCS decreased by about 6 times. If it would turned into a pasture area, the amount of erosion increased 8 times, while the amount of SOCS decreased by 3 times. Significant changes (p<0.05) occurred in soil properties such as organic matter, pH, bulk density, texture, field capacity, wilting point and water holding capacity due to deforestation.