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Timing and Causes of the Origin of the Solonetz Process in the Desert–Steppe Soils of the Southeastern Russian Plain

Borisov, A. V., Alekseev, A. O.
Arid ecosystems 2020 v.10 no.1 pp. 27-35
Solonetz, arid zones, breeding, cattle, ecosystems, steppes
The article discusses the time frame and the role of the anthropogenic factor in the solonetz process in soils of the desert–steppe zone of the southeastern Russian Plain. Based on the study of soils of different ages buried under the mounds of the Bronze and Middle Ages (6200–700 years ago) within the Salsko–Manych ridge, it was established that the soils of the region did not bear signs of the solonetz process at the macro level before the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. The first solonetzes in the region began to form 4800–4700 years ago. Their appearance chronologically coincided with the beginning of increased climate aridization. During this period, desert steppes began to be actively inhabited by ancient cattle breeders specializing in breeding small cattle, which resulted in a sharp increase in the load on the soils and ecosystems of the steppe. The article considers the possible cause-effect relationships in the system “climate–economic model–solonetz process.”