SOIL QUALITY CHANGES FOLLOWING FOREST CLEARANCE IN BENGKULU, SUMATRA

Authors

  • I P HANDAYANI Department of Soil Science, Agriculture College, University of Bengkulu

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11598/btb.2004.0.22.205

Abstract

Intense destruction and degradation of tropical forests is recognized as one of the environmental threats and
tragedies. These have increased the need to assess the effects of subsequent land-use following forest extraction on
soil quality. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the impacts of land-use type on soil quality properties in
Bengkulu Province, Sumatra. Soil samples were collected from adjacent sites including natural secondary forest, bare
land, cultivated land and grassland. The results show that land-use following forest clearance lowered saturated
hydraulic conductivity (85%), porosity (10.50%), soil water content at field capacity (34%),C organic (27%), N total (26%),
inorganic N (37%), soil microbial biomass C (32%), mineralizable C (22%), and particulate organic matter (50%), but slightly
increased water soluble organic C. Specific respiration activity rates increased about 14% in cultivated soils compared
to natural forest soils, indicating greater C turnover per labile C pool in the form of soil microbial biomass, thus decreased
biologically active soil organic matter. Forest conversion tends to reduce the C,ffg/Crer for all deforested sites. All of
deforested areas relatively have infertile soil, with the worst case found in cultivated field. The C^g/Crd of cultivated fields
was about 24% less than that of remnant forest (1.07). Grassland apparently maintains only slightly higher soil C levels
than the bare land. On average, degradation index of soil following forest clearance was 35% with the highest
deterioration occurred in the bare land (38%). Fallowing the fields by naturally growth of  Imperata cylindrica  for
about 15 yr in abandoned land after 3-5 years of cultivation did not improve the soil quality. Moreover, forest
clearance has an impact on soil quality as resulted in the loss of a physically protected organic matter and reduction in
some labile C pools, thus declined biological activity at disturbed ecosystems.
Keywords: Degradation index / forest / Imperata cylindrica grassland / soil quality/ soil organic matter

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How to Cite

HANDAYANI, I. P. (2011). SOIL QUALITY CHANGES FOLLOWING FOREST CLEARANCE IN BENGKULU, SUMATRA. BIOTROPIA - The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Biology, (22). https://doi.org/10.11598/btb.2004.0.22.205

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Section

Research Paper