Geography and Natural Resources

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 348–354 | Cite as

The soil-ecological index as an integral indicator for the optimization of the land-use structure

  • A. A. Chibilev
  • V. P. Petrishchev
  • S. V. Levykin
  • A. Kh. Ashikkaliev
  • G. V. Kazachkov
Research Techniques


Presented are the results from testing the method of calculating the soil-ecological index for an agro-ecological assessment of land use in the steppe zone of Southern Ural. A description is given to the various approaches in using the index for dealing with agro-ecological problems. It is suggested that the soil-ecological index should be used as an integral indicator for the optimization of the land-use structure, assessments of the effectiveness of agricultural enterprises, and for the substantiation of landscape-adaptive approaches. Basically, the existing cadastre assessment of lands in the Russian Federation takes into consideration mostly the economic indicators, ignoring the quality of land resources and the ecological standardization of land use. The soil-ecological index, developed by researchers of the V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute RAS, is characterized by ease and integrity of calculation and has a considerable potential for improvement. By testing the soil-ecological index against agricultural model areas, it is possible to identify at the intraregion and intradistrict levels the resources of highly profitable (elite) lands, with a priority specialization of grain crop production, and the resources of arable land conservation. Conservation (removal of arable lands from turnover) will subsequently make it possible to develop clusters of beef animal husbandry. The soil-ecological index will provide a means of assessing the effectiveness of using land resources by agricultural enterprises and determining the directions of development of territorial agricultural clusters. It can be used in developing landscape-adaptive models of land use in the reorganization of the existing structure of agricultural lands by adapting it to the region’s landscape structure, and to natural boundaries and borders. On the whole, the soilecological index makes it possible, on the one hand, to identify highly profitable arable lands and, on the other, to scientifically substantiate the transfer of low-productivity lands to the category of pastures.


indexing soil steppe zone agricultural lands arable land 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Chibilev
    • 1
  • V. P. Petrishchev
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. V. Levykin
    • 1
  • A. Kh. Ashikkaliev
    • 2
  • G. V. Kazachkov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Steppe, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesOrenburgRussia
  2. 2.Orenburg State UniversityOrenburgRussia

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