Department of Soil Fertility and Biology

The department was organized in 2013 and is the successor of the Department of Soil Monitoring and Biology, which was created in the early 90s as a result of optimizing the structure of the Institute of Soil Science and existed until 2008, and the Department of Soil Fertility Monitoring, which was created in 2008 by merging the Departments of Soil Monitoring and Biology, Modeling of soil processes, sectors of soil reclamation and organic matter and organoelement macromolecular compounds.

The Department of Soil Fertility and Biology includes 6 staff members: 1 Doctor of Ag.Sc., 1 Candidate of Ag.Sc.,  3 Masters.

Main research areas 

- development of scientific foundations and patterns of soil fertility formation in terms  of anthropogenesis, research and assessment of the current state of  main parameters of soil fertility, including issues of their monitoring;

- study of soil processes and regimes aimed to develop methods of preserving and increasing soil fertility;

- study of  transformation of organic matter of irrigated reclaimed soils aimed to develop scientific foundations and practical methods of fertility reproduction;

- improvement of methods of  soil fertility monitoring and assessment of  their degradation  degree;

- biological methods of soil fertility management

- organic farming.

Services provided by the department

- provision of methodological and advisory assistance on development of rational scientifically based crop rotations, determination of soil fertility, biological activity and its humus state, energy-saving methods and soil tillage systems, recommendations on organic farming and  use of fertilizers (with  calculation of fertilizer doses according to the cartogram of nutrient concentration  in soil).

Main achievements

It is known that relevant and primary objective of soil science is development of basic theoretical principles and practical methods of soil fertility management, soil ecological and soil surface state.

The department staff conducted a large amount of researches on genesis theory  development, evolution and classification of rainfed soils,  study of physical and chemical processes in zonal soils that affect the fertility level and soil resources, identification of  ecological and geographical distribution of microorganisms, seasonal dynamics of microbiological processes,  determination of main soil parameters for farming system development and soil rational use in agricultural production, study of geographic and genetic features of main soil types, development of soil taxonomy and diagnostics of different fertility levels.

The research works conducted according to the priority areas of the department are integrated into the following main areas:

Area 1 Scientific bases for reproduction of soil fertility and protection in the conditions of anthropogenesis

Development of theoretical foundations for application of nano-agro-reclamation  methods for increasing fertility of degraded soils (supervisor, Dr. Biol. Sc., professor Mamutov Zh.U.);

Improvement of the basics of soil fertility management in minimal, no-till and traditional tillage of black soils in Northern Kazakhstan (supervisor Dr. Bio.Sc.  Djalankuzov T.D.);

Bioconversion of organic wastes of agricultural production and production of biomineral fertilizers (supervisor, Dr. Ag.Sc., Kan V.M.);

Development of techniques for purposeful soil fertility management and crop productivity (supervisor, Cand. Bio.Sc., Mamonov A.G.);

Area 2 Scientific bases for resistance of irrigated soils to adverse environmental factors and their rational use

Study migration of organic substances in periodically flooded soils and develop scientific bases for stabilizing their humus state (supervisor, Cand. Ag. Sc., Ibrayeva M.A.);

Study the current soil and reclamation state of the Shieli massif and develop scientific bases for reclamation of secondary saline “waste” lands” (supervisor, Cand. Bio.Sc., Otarov A.);

Study the current ecological state of irrigated soils and development of scientific bases for improvement of their ecological state (supervisor, Cand. Bio.Sc., Otarov A.);

Evaluation of the current soil-ecological state of rice agrocenoses, and development of scientific foundations for environmentally friendly crop production technology (supervisor, Cand. Bio.Sc. Otarov A.);

As a result of the performed work, the following results were obtained:

- processes of dehumification of black soils of Northern Kazakhstan - main grain-growing region of the republic, were revealed, which resulted in  decreased humus concentration  by an average of 1/3 of the initial one,  deterioration in physical condition of soil, structure, composition, porosity, water-physical properties), and change in agrochemical properties. The ways of soil fertility restoration and protection are determined;

- classification of the developed black soils of Northern Kazakhstan was developed and, on this basis, a systematic list of soils was compiled, which is necessary for large-scale mapping of soil surface and cadastral works. Experiments on the study of the dynamics of productive moisture in these soils on the background of various treatments with application of fertilizers were carried out, transformation of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus in soils under various farming systems, which are necessary to justify specific methods of agri-technical practices in growing grain crops, were studied;

- impact of agricultural machinery on soils was studied, the multiple movement of which causes compaction of the arable and sub-arable soil horizons. At the same time, soil agrophysical properties and moisture supply of plants deteriorate significantly. It was determined that after a single pass of heavy tractors,  spring wheat yield on the trail decreased by 20%, three- times - by 34%, five and ten times - by 46 and 58%, respectively. The use of lighter tractors (Belarus, DT-75) has practically no negative effect on soil structure;

- in studying  biological factors of black soil fertility, species and group compositions of nematodes, their population density, depending on agricultural practices, were determined for the first time. In particular, when manure is applied at a rate of 30 t/ha, the number of nematodes increases 2.7 times compared to the control. While the number of those species that are involved in decomposition of soil organic matter increases. It has also been determined that permanent cultivation of grain crops reduces species diversity of nematodes with increase in parasitic species which are dangerous to plants and humans;

- dynamics of ammonium nitrogen and increase in nitrate nitrogen concentration in black soils of agrocenoses is studied. The accumulation of nitrates in soils and their leaching deep into the soil can cause geochemical pollution of water and other environmental objects;

- statistical, optimal parameters and morphological features of main zonal and intrazonal soils of Northern Kazakhstan were calculated, the direction of their transformation in time was revealed. The obtained data make it possible to have an objective idea of current state of soils and make their qualitative assessment;

- degradation of soil humus with an increase in its solubility was determined on periodically flooded (rice) soils of the Akdala irrigation area (for a season,  loss of humus reaches 12-36%).

- map of soil humus status in the Bakbakty part of the Akdala irrigation area was compiled. Under the conditions of field vegetation experiments, the work on the use of domestic ameliorants Green-Eco and sodium humate, was carried out. It is shown that the use of organic farming will enable farmers to improve soil fertility of their fields and receive environmentally friendly crops.

- the study of bioindicators of  soil ecological state  and vegetation surface in the south of Kazakhstan was carried out. The obtained data show the positive impact of new growing technologies on development of cotton in conditions of the South Kazakhstan region.

- Assessment of biological method of desalinization of saline soils with the help of licorice in varying degrees of saline soils is provided. It has been determined that under the conditions of secondary saline soils, licorice reduces the degree of soil salinity by one or two gradations, i.e. makes it possible to develop saline lands that are not used for agriculture. In addition, one can get up to 8 tons of feed and licorice roots per 1 hectare, which is used in pharmaceuticals and is currently in rather high demand.

- Issues of irrigated saline soils of the Turkestan region and their solution based on the use of innovative technology aimed to increase soil fertility and corn yields were studied.

- Recommendations on biological and chemical reclamation of saline irrigated soils were given to the farmers (Almaty, Turkestan and Kyzylorda regions).

Based on the results of long-term researches, the department staff published more than 150 scientific papers.

Contact details

Ibrayeva Maria Amenovna


office phone 8 (727) 245-52-99

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