Thursday, May 7, 2009

Land use change decreases carbon, nitrogen, and sugar contents of tropical soil

Land use change is an important ecological driver in the Philippines and other parts of the tropics. It is the major cause of the widespread occurrence of degraded lands in this humid tropical country.

Navarrete and Tsutsuki (2008) investigated the effects of land use change in Mt. Pangasugan in Leyte. They found that conversion of forest into secondary land uses like mahogany plantation, rainforestation farm (a form of reforestation using native tree species in combination with fruit trees and some shade-loving crops), coffee plantation, and grassland decreased the soil carbon, nitrogen, and non-cellulosic neutral sugar (mainly arabinose and xylose) contents of the soil. Within land-use type, differences in the above-mentioned soil parameters could be attributed to differences in the vegetation cover, past land use, and the succeeding soil management after land use change. Their findings also revealed that the grassland and rainforestation farm (which was also a former grassland) had the lowest non-cellulosic sugar content while the secondary forest had the highest.

Navarrete IA and K Tsutsuki. 2008. Land-use impact on soil carbon, nitrogen, neutral sugar composition and related properties in a degraded Ultisol in Leyte, Philippines. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 54: 321-331.

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