Changes in land use and improper soil management have led to severe land degradation around the globe through the modification in soil physicochemical and biological processes. This study aimed to assess the soil properties of different land use system types. Soil samples (0-15 cm depth) were collected from five land uses; Rubber Plantation (RP), Oil Palm Plantation (OPP), Bamboo Forest (BF), Fallow Land (FL) and Natural Forest (NF) and analyzed for bulk density, soil texture, soil pH, soil moisture, soil carbon, total nitrogen, ammonium, nitrate, soil microbial biomass carbon, soil respiration. Soil pH was lower than 4.9 in all the sites indicating that the surface soil was highly acidic. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) values ranged from 2.02% to 2.81% and 0.22% to 0.3% respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) and soil microbial biomass (SMBC) were highly affected by soil moisture. NH4+-N and NO3--N ranged from 5.6 mg kg-1 to 10.2 mg kg-1 and 1.15 mg kg-1 to 2.81 mg kg-1 respectively. NF soils showed the maximum soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) whereas the minimum was observed in BF with values ranging from 340 mg kg-1 to 345 mg kg-1. Basal respiration was highest in RP (375 mg CO2 m-2 hr-1) and lowest in BF (224 mg CO2 m-2 hr-1). The findings demonstrated significant effect (p<0.05) of land use change on soil nutrient status and organic matter. Findings also indicated that land use change deteriorated native soil physicochemical and biological properties, but that land restoration practices through longer fallow period (>10 years) likely are successful in promoting the recovery of some soil characteristics.
Land Use, Oil palm plantation, Organic matter, Rubber Plantation, Soil fertility
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