Mapping and assessment-based modeling of soil fertility differences in the central and eastern parts of the Black Sea region using GIS and geostatistical approaches
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This study was carried out on arable lands of the central and eastern Black Sea regions including eight provinces (Artvin, Giresun, Gumushane, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, and Trabzon). The present study aims to generate a soil fertility map for agricultural lands in the central and eastern parts of the Black Sea region. The main objective of this research is to quantify soil fertility by developing a soil fertility index (SFI) model at the regional level. The related objectives were to map the spatial distribution of soil fertility by using auxiliary variables and to model soil fertility within the study region. To accomplish this, a data set for soil fertility differences was collected and a model was developed to predict the spatial distribution of differences across the region. The study area was divided into 2.5 x 2.5-km grid squares. A total of 3400 soil samples were collected from the surface (020 cm) of each grid intersection point. The geostatistical method was used to generate the SFI distribution map of the study area for surface soils. Of the total study area, 93.76% had good (S1) or moderately fertile (S2) soil while 6.15% of the area had marginally fertile (S3) soil. Only a very small area (N) had low-fertility soil.