Development of land use, soil degradation and their consequences for the forest steppe zone of Bashkortostan
Frühauf, Manfred; Keller Toralf,
published: Dec 20, 2010
Open Access (paper can be downloaded for free)
Since the end of the 19th century the Black Earth Belt in the south of Russia is particularly used by intensive agricultural. Therefore, the constituent Republic Bashkortostan, and especially the forest steppe zone is one of the main producers for agrarian products of the Russian Federation. But non-adapted land use management, mainly during post-Soviet times, had far-reaching consequences: soil degradation followed by reduction of arable land, decline in soil fertility as well as widespread erosion phenomena in advanced stages. In 2007 a research project was started to investigate the causes and effects of land use on soil degradation. Evaluation of agricultural statistics, own soil analysis and image interpretations of aerial pictures and remote sensing data have partly shown a strong devastation by livestock, reduce in soil carbon content and widespread gully erosion processes. The article provides information about trends in agriculture of Bashkortostan/Russian Federation and the current situation.