SP 3 - Effect of land-use and agricultural management on wind erosion along a climatic gradient in dry steppe



Wind erosion is a constant problem on agricultural cultivated areas in the dry steppes of Kazakhstan. Soil displacement causes the loss of valuable humus and finally a decrease in yields. The soil is in constant interaction with both the physical processes within itself as well as the climatic conditions and its triggered feedback effects. Especially flat and wide open areas are at a high risk of being affected by wind. Therefore, agricultural land use in particular has a major impact on these processes. Optimized agricultural management contributes to both soil and climate protection. Reducing wind erosion is an important target of adaptation.   

In order to quantify the effect of agricultural methods on wind erosion, it is necessary to set up a monitoring system for sediment transport caused by wind under different agricultural management and land use strategies. Besides a weather station, the “Wind Erosion Sediment Trap” provided by the UGT will automatically record the sediment material which is transported by air out of a test area. It will measure constantly with a high temporal resolution and sensitivity. Furthermore, a “Mobile Wind Erosion Channel”, also developed by the UGT, will measure the loss of sediment material at different test sites under different wind speed levels. Each test site offers plots with a variety of land use and agricultural management systems and will be qualified by a comparative analysis of soil properties (texture, grain sizes, stability, soil moisture) as driving parameters of wind erosion. This allows the quantification of soil erosion as a function of meteorological conditions, individual soil and land properties under the influence of different farming methods.

The overall goal of REKKS-Subproject 3 is to provide knowledge and recommendations for adaptation and optimization of land use and agricultural management at the specific test sites and for the dry steppes of Kazakhstan and Southwestern Siberia in general.

Untersuchungsgebiet nahe Yasnaya Polyana