Soil Characteristics in Private Gardens of Different City Neighborhoods: A Case Study of Taibe, Israel

Pariente Sarah, Helena Zhevelev, Shatha Haj-Yehia, Eyal Sachs, Anatoly G. Fragin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


City green areas including private gardens, provide ecological, sociological, cultural, health, and engineering advantages that motivate the urban system. Manmade impacts on the development of urban soils are of greater importance than natural ones. Soil properties were studied in an Arab city—Taibe—in Israel. Two neighborhoods in the city, which differed in time of establishment, were selected: An older residential neighborhood constructed more than 70 years ago, and a newer one built 10 years ago. In each neighborhood, 15 private gardens were randomly chosen. In total, the study was conducted in 30 gardens. In each garden, soil samples were collected from three depths: 0–2, 2–10, and 10–30 cm, respectively. In each sample, organic matter, hygroscopic moisture, calcium carbonate, bulk density, field water content, lead, copper and zinc contents, and texture were determined. The soil of the older neighborhood expressed greater values of soil properties and higher profile differentiation than the newer one. The heavy metals in the soil of the private gardens of both neighborhoods are not present in excess nor are they toxic. Under the prevailing environmental conditions, the soil of the newer neighborhood will become like that of the older one in the future unless a new soil interruption occurs. The calcium carbonate and heavy metals contents in the soil can be used as indicators of soil maturity in different areas of the city having similar environmental conditions. In addition, the gradients of these properties along profiles can be helpful in restoring the history of human activity, which prevailed in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number217
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • heavy metals
  • human activity
  • private garden
  • soil properties
  • urban soil


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