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Sci Data. 2018 Nov 13;5:180242. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.242.

Top soil physical and chemical properties in Kazakhstan across a north-south gradient.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.
National Laboratory Astana, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.
Department of Biology, School of Science and Technology, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.
Environmental Science & Technology Group (ESTg), Chemical Engineering Department, School of Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.
International Research Center for Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Kazakhstan's soil properties have yet to be comprehensively characterized. We sampled 40 sites consisting of ten major soil types at spring (wet) and late-summer (dry) seasons. The sample locations range from semi-arid to arid with an annual mean air temperature from 1.2 to 10.7 °C and annual precipitation from less than 200 to around 400 mm. Overall topsoil total (STC), organic (SOC), and inorganic (SIC) carbon did not change significantly between spring and late summer. STC and SOC show a wave like pattern from north to south with two maxima in northern and southern Kazakhstan and one minimum in central Kazakhstan. With a few exceptions SIC content at northern sites is generally low, whereas at Lake Balkhash SIC can exceed 75% of STC. Independent of the seasons, SOC significantly differed among soil types. Total nitrogen content distribution among our sampling sites followed a similar pattern as SOC with significant differences between soil types occurring in northern, central and southern Kazakhstan.

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