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Expansion of Moscow might improve soils

Researchers from the Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy and The People’s Friendship University of Russia have found out the formal transfer of the border of Moscow might have positive consequences for the quality of soils in this region as odd as it sounds.
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Due to the recently adopted decision of the expanding borders of Moscow, the urbanization in the Moscow region will affect about 1500 square kilometers. The researchers have modeled the impact of these processes on the soils of Moscow regions have concluded that the impact is not so unambiguous as it might seem at first glance.

According to the modeling, about 30% of territories enclosed to the New Moscow will be built over by 2048. At this 30%, two types of factors for the soil will come into play: negative ones as removal of a mellow layer of the ground and isolation of soil with the concrete and asphalt, and positive ones. Among the last group, one should consider especially the establishment of park networks and distribution of peat and compost, as it has already acquired a currency in Moscow. The most of the natural soils around the capital of Russia belongs to bleached type with the very low content of carbon of organic origin. By fertilizing the soils with peat and compost, one can notably increase the quality of soils in the areas not covered with asphalt, paving tile, or buildings.

The authors of the study forecast that due to the improvement of the quality of soils, the problem of air pollution in the city may be mitigated. In particular, the soils with an elevated level of carbon will help plants to bind more carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic air pollutants.

The respective article has been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Concerning the state of the air in Moscow, it can be conveniently deduced from the lichen growing in the neighborhood.

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