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Title

The Urban Soils of Butler County, Kentucky: Evaluating Degradation Severity over Time

Presenter Information

River DowellFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Agronomy

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Iin Handayani

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The Urban Soils of Butler County, Kentucky:

Evaluating Degradation Severity over Time

River O. Dowell, Mochamad F. Aturullah, and Iin P. Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture, Murray State University, Kentucky

ABSTRACT

Evaluating urban soil degradation over time is crucial to better understanding the changes of developed soils due to management practices. The objective of this study was to quantify the changes of urban soils’ properties over time. Disturbed and undisturbed samples were collected from four study sites located across Butler County, Kentucky. They were the Butler County Middle School, Butler County Courthouse, Butler County High School, and North Butler Elementary. Each site represented four different spans of time elapsed since disturbance; 50 years, 40 years, 30 years, and 15 years. Samples were taken at depths of 0-7.5 cm and 7.5-15cm respectively. The samples were then analyzed for bulk density (BD), soil porosity (SP), macroporosity (MaP), microporosity (MiP), water holding capacity (WHC), field capacity (FC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil organic carbon in aggregates (SOC-Agg), aggregate stability (AS), and particulate organic matter- carbon (POM-C). The results indicated that bulk density was higher in more recently disturbed soils. They also indicated that soil porosity was much lower in the younger urban soils at 48.5% compared to the older urban soils which were at 59%. The results also reflected that macroporosity was much higher in older urban soils than younger urban soils and that the opposite was true for microporosity. Water holding capacity was found to low in young urban soils at 26.5% when compared to older urban soils which were at 40%. Findings were similar for field capacity. Soil organic carbon varied greatly across all sites with no correlation being found with age. The same was true for soil organic carbon in aggregates and aggregate stability. A correlation was found between age and particulate organic matter-carbon as it was shown to be much higher in older urban soils at 5% compared to younger urban soils which were at 2.5%. The results of this study can be used to further our understanding of the impacts that urbanization has on soils and how long-lasting those effects are.

Keywords: Degradation, Soil Porosity, Water Holding Capacity, Particulate Organic Matter-Carbon

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The Urban Soils of Butler County, Kentucky: Evaluating Degradation Severity over Time

The Urban Soils of Butler County, Kentucky:

Evaluating Degradation Severity over Time

River O. Dowell, Mochamad F. Aturullah, and Iin P. Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture, Murray State University, Kentucky

ABSTRACT

Evaluating urban soil degradation over time is crucial to better understanding the changes of developed soils due to management practices. The objective of this study was to quantify the changes of urban soils’ properties over time. Disturbed and undisturbed samples were collected from four study sites located across Butler County, Kentucky. They were the Butler County Middle School, Butler County Courthouse, Butler County High School, and North Butler Elementary. Each site represented four different spans of time elapsed since disturbance; 50 years, 40 years, 30 years, and 15 years. Samples were taken at depths of 0-7.5 cm and 7.5-15cm respectively. The samples were then analyzed for bulk density (BD), soil porosity (SP), macroporosity (MaP), microporosity (MiP), water holding capacity (WHC), field capacity (FC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil organic carbon in aggregates (SOC-Agg), aggregate stability (AS), and particulate organic matter- carbon (POM-C). The results indicated that bulk density was higher in more recently disturbed soils. They also indicated that soil porosity was much lower in the younger urban soils at 48.5% compared to the older urban soils which were at 59%. The results also reflected that macroporosity was much higher in older urban soils than younger urban soils and that the opposite was true for microporosity. Water holding capacity was found to low in young urban soils at 26.5% when compared to older urban soils which were at 40%. Findings were similar for field capacity. Soil organic carbon varied greatly across all sites with no correlation being found with age. The same was true for soil organic carbon in aggregates and aggregate stability. A correlation was found between age and particulate organic matter-carbon as it was shown to be much higher in older urban soils at 5% compared to younger urban soils which were at 2.5%. The results of this study can be used to further our understanding of the impacts that urbanization has on soils and how long-lasting those effects are.

Keywords: Degradation, Soil Porosity, Water Holding Capacity, Particulate Organic Matter-Carbon