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Journal Articles Pedosphere Year : 2009

Soil Drainage as an Active Agent of Recent Soil Evolution

David Montagne
Sophie Cornu
Isabelle Cousin


While research on pedogenesis mainly focuses on long-term soil formation and most often neglects recent soil evolution in response to human practices or climate changes, this article reviews the impact of artificial subsurface drainage on soil evolution. Artificial drainage is considered as an example of the impact of recent changes in water fluxes on soil evolution over time scales of decades to a century. Results from various classical studies on artificial drainage including hydrological and environmental studies are reviewed and collated with rare studies dealing explicitly with soil morphology changes, in response to artificial drainage. We deduce that soil should react to the perturbations associated with subsurface drainage over time scales that do not exceeding a few decades. Subsurface drainage decreases the intensity of erosion and must i) increase the intensity of the lixiviation and eluviation processes, ii) affect iron and manganese dynamics, and iii) induce heterogeneities in soil evolution at the ten meter scale. Such recent soil evolutions can no longer be neglected as they are mostly irreversible and will probably have unknown, but expectable, feedbacks on crucial soil functions such as the sequestration of soil organic matter or the water available capacity.
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insu-00351037 , version 1 (04-09-2009)



David Montagne, Sophie Cornu, Lydie Le Forestier, Isabelle Cousin. Soil Drainage as an Active Agent of Recent Soil Evolution. Pedosphere, 2009, 19 (1), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1016/S1002-0160(08)60078-8⟩. ⟨insu-00351037⟩
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