EVALUATION OF SOIL FERTILITY STATUS AND CHEMICAL INDICA- TORS OF SOIL QUALITY IN TEA GARDENS OF LAKHIMPUR DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIABhabajit Bhuyan and H.P.Sarma
Soil Quality for the environmentalist mean soil functioning at its potential in an ecosystem with respect to maintenance or enhancement of biodiversity, water quality, nutrient cycling, and biomass production. The present study is carried out to study the fertility status of soils of tea gardens of Lakhimpur district, Assam and to examine whether there is any environmental hazard for iron rusting and nutrient loss or imbalance in the soil. Thirty two soil samples were randomly collected by maintaining a distance of about 50 meters between two samples and analyzed for various soil fertility parameters. Some soil samples had low nitrogen and potassium contents due to low content of organic carbon. The very low phosphorous contents in all the investigated samples may be due to high acidity of the soils which reduces plant nutrient availability and increases aluminum and manganese toxicities. The soils were deficient in major plant nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. The soil samples were found to be heavy clay, most of which had modest organic matter contents and, therefore, difficult for plant root penetration and require lime for normal functioning. Significant hazard for iron or steel rusting in soil was also found. All the soil samples had high iron contents.
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