Urban Soil Properties as Affected by Land Use Units and Socio-economic Levels—the Case of the City of Tel-Aviv, Israel

  • Helena M. Zhevelev Bar-Ilan University
  • Pua Bar (Kutiel) Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Keywords: Urban Soil, Organic Matter, Penetration Depth, pH, Soil Moisture, Spatial Heterogeneity


Over 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and affect soil properties. The aim of this study was to analyze soil properties in various urban open land use units (LUU) in two neighborhoods that differ in their socio-economic levels (High and Low). Four types of LUU (municipal parks, private gardens, derelict areas and traffic islands) with four replicas for each LUU were chosen in each neighborhood. Organic matter content, soil moisture and pH at two depths of soil (0-2 cm and 5-10 cm) and soil surface compaction by penetration depth were analyzed. Results indicate that “urbanization footprint” was significantly represented by the upper soil layer. Urbanization led to increase of organic matter and water content in the sandy soil relatively to undisturbed sandy soil that was observed at an adjacent national park. The anthropogenic impact on soil within the urban system is correlated with the socio-economic level of the neighborhood. A low socio-economic level led to a decrease in the variability of soil properties, and thus restricted the urban ecosystems’ heterogeneity.


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