COMPARISON OF PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS UNDER DIFFERENT FOREST TYPES IN DRY TROPICAL FOREST ECOSYSTEM IN ACHANAKMAR-AMARKANTAK BIOSPHERE RESERVE, INDIAHarischandra Darro, S.L. Swamy, Rajesh Kumar and Atul Kumar Bhardwaj
The present study was conducted to assess the variations in physico-chemical properties of soils under four forest types viz. Mixed Forest, Mixed Sal Forest, Mixed Teak Forest, and Teak Mixed Forests in a typical dry tropical ecosystem of Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (AABR), Central India. Soil samples were collected from four types of forest and analyzed for the soil samples were taken at three soil depths, i.e. at 0-20 cm, 20-40cm and 40-60 cm and analysed for pH, EC, Organic C, soil moisture, bulk density, nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). The pH of soil was lower (5.43) under Mixed Forest and higher (6.13) in Teak Mixed Forest, while EC in soil was lower (0.04 dS m-1) in Mixed Sal Forest and higher (0.32 dS m-1) under Teak Mixed Forest. Organic C varied from 11.5 Mg ha-1 to 17.8 Mg ha-1 at 0-20 cm soil depth which was highest in soil under Mixed Sal Forest and lowest in Teak Mixed Forest. The Organic C and EC values were decreased with an increase in soil depth, while the bulk density showed reverse trend. Soil nutrients in different depths varied between 160.2 -196.9 kg ha-1, 10.4-17.7 kg ha-1 and 266.4-439.1 kg ha-1 for N, P and K, respectively. The nutrient quantities in soil were higher in Mixed Sal Forest and lower under Teak Mixed Forest, which decreased with soil depth. The paper discusses the possible variations in soil properties in relation to structure and composition of forest type and suggests appropriate management practices for the sustainable development of forest soils in dry tropical ecosystem.