Document Type : CASE STUDY


1 Department of Soil Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University. Sari, Iran

2 Department of Construction Engineering. Faculty of Engineering, Yasooj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Yasooj, Iran


The aim of this study was to produce mulch by combining natural mineral and organic substances in order to reach soil stabilization and improve soil physical and mechanical properties in Koopal area. The effects of organic mulch (at 3 levels of O1: combination of 1% sugarcane bagasse biochar+0.5% gum Arabic+0.5% gelatin; O2: combination of 3% sugarcane bagasse biochar+1% gum Arabic+1% gelatin; and O3: combination of 5% sugarcane bagasse biochar+1.5% gum Arabic+ 1.5% gelatin) and MNF organomineral mulch (at 3 levels of MNF1: 1%; MNF2: 3%; and MNF3: 5%) on soil were investigated. The soil samples were incubated for 2 and 4 months and finally placed in a wind tunnel. Some physical and chemical properties of soil were obtained as pH=7.42, O.M%=0.223, and soil texture of silty loam. The obtained results showed that compared to control, application of the mulches increased soil organic carbon percentage (1.1%), mean weight diameter (2.47 mm), geometric mean diameter (1.27 mm), penetration resistance (370), shear strength (27.38) and tensile strength (0.8) significantly and decreased soil loss (0.10 g/m2/s), fracture index, soil texture index (62.16), and crust index (1.18) significantly (P<0.01) in both incubation periods. Effects of the mulches on soil organic carbon were reduced after 4 months. In mulch treatments, soil loss rate, mean weight diameter, geometric mean diameter and tensile strength were increased significantly. In general, the organic mulch could stabilize the soil and improve the physical and mechanical properties of the soil.

Graphical Abstract

The effect of mulch on properties of erosion sensitive soil using a wind tunnel


  • Organic mulch and MNF mulch decrease soil erosion because of creating protection layer and causing an armoring effect on soil surface;
  • Applying mulches increase soil organic carbon percentage, mean weight diameter, geometric mean diameter, penetration resistance, Shear strength, Tensile Strength significantly;
  • As time passed, compared to the soil incubated for 2 months, in the soil with 4 months incubation, the effects of mulches on soil organic carbon were reduce;
  • Adding the mulches causing physical and mechanical bonds between mulch and soil particles can enhance the cohesion of individual particles.


Abtahi, S.M., (2017). The effect of cellulose polymer mulch on sand stabilization. Polimery., 62(10): 757-763 (7 pages).

Baiamonte, G.; Crescimanno, B.; Parrino, F.; De Pasquale, C., (2019). Effect of biochar on the physical and structural properties of a sandy soil. Catena., 175: 294–303 (10 pages).

Baumhardt, R.L.; Unger, P.W.; Dao, T.H., (2004). Seedbed surface geometry effects on soil crusting and seedling emergence. Agron. J., 96(4): 1112-1117 (6 pages).

Bazgir. M.; Namdar Khojasteh, D., (2018). Biological, chemical and mineral mulches effect on stabilization of dust storm sources, case study: Ilam Province. J. Watershed. Eng. Manage., 10(4): 701-713 (14 pages).

Bélanger, N., (2000). Investigating the long-term influence of atmospheric acid deposition and forest disturbance on soil chemistry and cation nutrient supplies in forested ecosystem of southern Quebec. ph.D. thesis, McGill University, Montral. (164 pages).

Bouyoucos, G.J., (1962). Hydrometer method improved for making particle size analysis of soils. Agron. J., 54: 464-465 (2 pages).

Briggs, C.M.; Breiner, J.; Graham, R.C., (2005). Contributions of Pinus Ponderosa charcoal to soil chemical and physical properties. In The ASACSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings. Salt Lake City, USA (13 pages).

Bunna, S.; Sinath, P.; Makara, O.; Mitchell, J.; Fukai, S., (2011). Effects of straw mulch on mungbean yield in rice fields with strongly compacted soils. Field. Crops. Res., 124(3): 295-301 (7 pages).

Busscher, W.J.; Novak, J.M.; Evans, D.E.; Watts, D.W.; Niandou, M.A.S.; Ahmedna, M. (2010). Influence of pecan biochar on physical properties of a Norfolk loamy Sand. Soil Sci., 175: 10-14 (5 pages).

Castro Filho, C.D.; Lourenço, A.; Guimarães, M.D.F.; Fonseca, I.C.B.V., (2002). Aggregate stability under different soil management systems in a red latosol in the state of Parana, Brazil. Soil Tillage Res., 65(1): 45-51 (7 pages).

Chen, J.; Heiling, M.; Resch, C.; Mbaye, M.; Gruber, R.; Dercon, G. (2018). Does maize and legume crop residue mulch matter in soil organic carbon sequestration? Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 265: 123-131 (9 pages).

Da Silva, A.M.; Durrant, S.F., (2010). Potential use of polyacrylamide for soil erosion control in Brazil. J. Sustainable Dev., 3(4): 109-117 (9 pages).

Dexter, A.R.; Kroesbergen, B., (1985). Methodology for determination of tensile strength of soil aggregates. J. Agric. Eng. Res., 31(2): 139-147 (9 pages).

Dong, Q.; Dang, T.; Guo, S.; Hao, M., (2019). Effects of mulching measures on soil moisture and N leaching potential in a spring maize planting system in the southern Loess Plateau. Agric. Water Manage., 213: 803-808 (6 pages).

Hallett, P.D.; Dexter, A.R.; Seville, J.P.K., (1995). Identification of pre-existing cracks on soil fracture surfaces using dye. Soil Tillage Res., 33(3-4): 163-184 (22 pages).

Hosseini Bai, S.H.; Blumfield, T.J. Reverchon, F., (2013). The impact of mulch type on soil organic carbon and nitrogen pools in a sloping site. Biol. Fertil. Soils, 50(1): 37-44 (8 pages).

Jefline, J.; Kodzwa, J.J.; Gotosa, J.; Nyamangara, J., (2020). Mulching is the most important of the three conservation agriculture principles in increasing crop yield in the short term, under sub humid tropical conditions in Zimbabwe. Soil Tillage Res., 197: 104515.

Janalizadeh Choobbasti, A.J.; Vafaei, A.; Kutanaei, S.S., (2015). Mechanical properties of sandy soil improved with cement and nanosilica. Open Eng., 5: 111-116 (6 pages).

Jiang, T.Y.; Jiang, J.; Xu, R.K.; Li, Z., (2012). Adsorption of Pb (II) on variable charge soils amended with rice-straw derived biochar. Chemosphere. 89: 249-256 (8 pages).

Karami, A.; Homaee, M.; Afzalinia, S.; Ruhipour, H.; Basirat, S. (2012). Organic resource management: impacts on soil aggregate stability and other soil physico-chemical properties. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 148: 22-28 (6 pages).

Kazemi, F.; Safari, N., (2018). Effect of mulches on some characteristics of a drought tolerant flowering plant for urban landscaping. Desert, 23(1): 75-84 (10 pages).

Khademalrasoul, A.; Naveed, M.; Heckrath, G.; Kumari, K.G.I.D.; Jonge, L.W.; Elsgaard, L., (2014). Biochar effects on soil aggregate properties under no-till maize. Soil. Sci., 179: 273–283 (11 pages).

Khalili Moghadam, B.; Jamili, T.; Nadian, H.; Shahbazi, E., (2015). The influence of sugarcane mulch on sand dune stabilization in Khuzestan, the southwest of Iran. Iran. Agric. Res., 34(2): 71-80 (8 pages).

Klute, A., (1986). Water retention: laboratory methods. Methods of soil analysis: part 1—physical and mineralogical methods, (methodsofsoilan1), 635-662.

Klute, A.; Dirksen, C., (1986). Hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity: Laboratory methods. Methods of soil analysis: part 1—physical and mineralogical methods, (methodsofsoilan1), 687-734.

Khosravi, M.; Ebrahimi, M.M.; Behrouzi, M., (2016). A survey on wind energy Khuzestan province in order to use wind turbines. J. Reg. Plann., 6(22): 29-42 (14 pages).

Lahooti. P.; Emadi. M.; Bahmanyar. M.A.; Ghajar Sepanlu. M., (2018). Soil organic carbon mapping using geostatistics and artificial neural network (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province). J. Water. Soil., 32(6): 1135-1148 (14 pages).

Lehmann, J.; Gaunt, J.; Rondon, M., (2006). Bio-char sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems–a review. Mitigation Adapt. Strategies Global Change. 11(2): 403-427.

Li, J.; Ma, X.; Zhang, C., (2020). Predicting the spatiotemporal variation in soil wind erosion across Central Asia in response to climate change in the 21st century. Sci. Total Environ., 709: 136060.

Li, R.; Hou, X.; Jia, Z.; Han, Q., (2020). Soil environment and maize productivity in semi-humid regions prone to drought of Weibei Highland are improved by ridge-and-furrow tillage with mulching. Soil Tillage Res., 196: 104476.

Li, Z.; Lai, X.; Yang, Q.; Yang, X.; Cui, S.; Shen, Y., (2018). In search of long-term sustainable tillage and straw mulching practices for a maize-winter wheat-soybean rotation system in the Loess Plateau of China. Field. Crops. Res., 217: 199-210 (12 pages).

Liu, C.; Lu, M.; Cui, J.; Li, B.; Fang, C., (2014). Effects of straw carbon input on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils: a meta‐analysis. Global Change Biol., 20(5): 1366-1381 (16 pages).

Lohrasbi. H.; Khademolrasul. A.; Farokhiyan Firuzi. A. (2019). Effects of Biochar and Zeoplant on Physical and Mechanical Properties of Erodible Soils (Case Study: Bostan). J. Water. Soil. 33(5): 723-737 (15 pages).

Mbagwu, J.S.C.; Bazzoffi, P., (1989). Properties of soil aggregates as influenced by tillage practices. Soil Use Manage., 5(4): 180-188 (9 pages).

McLean, E.Q., (1982). Soil pH and lime requirement.In: Page, A.L. Miller, R.H. Keeney, D.R. (Eds). Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2. Chemical an Microbilogycal Properties, 2nd Ed Agronomy.. 9: 199-224 (26 pages).

Naghizade Asl, F. N.; Asgari, H. R.; Emami, H.; Jafari, M., (2019). Combined effect of micro silica with clay, and gypsum as mulches on shear strength and wind erosion rate of sands. Int. Soil Water Conserv. Res., 7(4), 388-394 (6 pages).

Ouyang, L.; Wang, F.; Tang, J.; Yu, L.; Zhang, R. (2013). Effects of biochar amendment on soil aggregates and hydraulic properties. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 13(4): 991–1002 (12 pages).

Pagliai, M., (2007). Soil surface sealing and crusting. 1.

Pinheiro, E.F.M., Pereira, M.G.; Anjos, L.H.C., (2004). Aggregate distribution and soil organic matter under different tillage systems for vegetable crops in a Red Latosol from Brazil. Soil Tillage Res., 77(1): 79-84 (6 pages).

Roades, J.D., (1996). Salinity: electrical conductivity and and total dissolved solids. Method of Soil Analysis, Part: Chemical Methods. Madison. Wisconsin, USA. 417-436.

Sabzi, M.; Asgari, H.R.; Afzali, S.F., (2018). Assessment Sugar Factories Wastes’ Performance on Wind Erosion Control. Pollution. 4(3): 539-546 (7 pages).

Sterk, G.; Spaan, W.P., (1997). Wind erosion control with crop residues in the Sahel. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 61(3): 911-917 (7 pages).

Steward, L.G.; Sydnor, T.D.; Bishop, B., (2003). The ease of ignition of 13 landscape mulches. J. Arboriculture, 29(6): 317-321 (5 pages).

Sumner, M.E.; Miller, W.P., (1996). Cation exchange capacity and exchange coefficients. Methods of Soil Analysis: Part 3 Chemical Methods, 5: 1201-1229.

Utomo, W.H.; Dexter, A.R., (1981). Soil friability. J. Soil Sci., 32(2): 203-213 (11 pages).

Van Bavel, C.H.M., (1950). Mean weight-diameter of soil aggregates as a statistical index of aggregation 1. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 14(C): 20-23 (3 pages).

Walkley, A.; Black, C.A., (1934). An examination of the degtjareff method of determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chronic acid titration method. J. Soil Sci, 37:29–38 (10 pages).

Wang, H.; Zhang, L.; Dawes, W.; Liu, R.C., (2001). Improving water use efficiency of irrigated crops in the north China plain-measurements and modeling. Agric. Water Manage., 48: 151–167 (3 pages).

BeMiller, J.N.; Whistler, R.L., (2012). (Eds.). Industrial gums: polysaccharides and their derivatives. Academic Press.

Whistler, R. L.; Hymowitz, T., (1979). Guar: agronomy, production, industrial use, and nutrition. Purdue University Press. 

Yang, H.; Wu, G.; Mo, P.; Chen, S.; Wang, S.; Xiao, Y.; ang Ma, H.; Wen, T.; Guo, X.; Fan, G., (2020). The combined effects of maize straw mulch and no-tillage on grain yield and water and nitrogen use efficiency of dry-land winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Soil Tillage Res., 197: 104485 (14 pages).

Zhang, R.; Huang, Q.; Yan, T.; Yang, J.; Zheng, Y.; Li, H.; Li, M., (2019). Effects of intercropping mulch on the content and composition of soil dissolved organic matter in apple orchard on the loess plateau. J. Environ. Manage., 250: 109531.

Letters to Editor

GJESM Journal welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in GJESM should be sent to the editorial office of GJESM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.
[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.
[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.
[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.
[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.
[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.
[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.