Sunday, May 17, 2009

Are the tropical soils in Southeast Asia unique?

The soils in the tropical islands of SE Asia may be distinct from those in other tropical areas like Africa and the Americas because of the unique environmental factors that influenced their formation (Asio et al., 2006; Navarrete et al., 2007). Geologically, much of SE Asia was the result of recent tectonic event and many areas emerged from the sea recently (Hall, 2002). Consequently, it is much younger than Africa and Central and South America. In terms of climate, SE Asia is also different from the other regions. During the drier period of the Quaternary, the effects of climatic changes in landform development were unique because large areas were under the regime of the monsoonal system (Verstappen 1997). Chang et al. (2005) reported that the present climate that prevails in SE Asia is also unique since it is located in the transitional region between the boreal summer Asian monsoon and the boreal winter Asian monsoon. In terms of the soil-forming factor organisms (flora and fauna), biodiversity is high in the region (Myers et al., 2000) because of the effect of climate and geological history (Nakashizuka 2004). Heemsbergen et al. (2004) reported that biodiversity is related to soil processes. Land use systems and soil management practices of farmers in SE Asia are also different from those in other tropical regions suggesting that the influence of man as a factor of soil formation maybe different from farmers in other tropical areas.


Asio VB, CC Cabunos, ZS Chen. 2006. Soil Science 171: 648-661.

Chang CP, Z Wang, J McBride, CH Lieu. 2005. J. Climate 18: 287-301.

Hall R. 2002. J. Asian Earth Sci. 20: 353-431.

Heemsbergen DA, MP Berg, M Loreau, JR Van Hal, JH Faber, HA Verhoef. 2004. Science 306: 1019-1020.

Nakashizuka T. J. 2004. J. For. Res. 9: 293-298.

Navarrete, IA, VB Asio, R Jahn, K Tsutsuki. 2007. Australian J. Soil Research 45: 153-163.

Verstappen H.Th. 1997. J. Quaternary Sci. 12: 413-418.

No comments: