Malaysian Journal Of Soil Science

Vol. 22 | December 2018

Effects of Live and Dead Plant Matter on the Stability of pH, Redox Potential and Sulphate Content of Sulphuric Soil Material Neutralised by Addition of Alkaline Sandy Loam

Pages 1-18
Patrick S. Michael

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Sulphuric soil material of acid sulfate soils is mainly managed by the addition of mineral lime but lime availability is limited to a few regions and pure mineral lime is expensive. This study assessed the stability of sulphuric soil material neutralised by the addition of alkaline sandy loam, with organic matter amendment or establishment of plants. Incorporation of organic matter stabilised the pH but did not prevent oxidation under aerobic conditions. Under flooded conditions, the pH was more stable and increased when organic matter was incorporated. Application of roganic matter to the surface was only effective under flooded conditions. In contrast to the effects of plants on sulphidic soil material and suphuric soil material where the tendency was to increase growth of plants on neutralised sulphuric soil material has little influence on pH. In addition, the changes induced by smaller plants were comparatively lower, and dependent on the organic matter turnover from above and below ground biomass.

Keywords: Sulphuric soil material, alkaline sandy loam, neutralised soil, organic matter, live plants, pH, Eh

Effects of Community-Based Watershed Development on Soil Properties in the Northwestern Highlands of Ethiopia

Pages 19-33
Zewdu Siraw*, Woldeamlak Bewket, and Mekonnen Adnew

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This study assessed the effects of community-based watershed development (CBWD) on the physical and biochemical properties of soils in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia by using a comparative approach. Two adjacent micro-watersheds, namely Tija Baji (with conservation since 2000) and Tata (without conservation) were compared for selected properties of soils. Twenty-four composite and 24 undisturbed soil core samples were collected from the two micro-watersheds, and analysed following standard soil laboratory analysis procedures. The results showed that CBWD had brought about significant improvements in some of the soil properties considered. The physical soil properties that showed significant improvement were bulk density, total porosity, field capacity and permanent wilting point. Similarly, total nitrogen, organic carbon, soil organic matter and exchangeable calcium were the biochemical properties that showed significant (P <0.1) improvement at the conserved watershed. In contrast, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, magnesium and sodium, and percentage base saturation of the chemical parameters and soil texture of the physical parameters did not show statistically significant change. The results indicate the potential of conservation measures implemented through a CBWD approach to improve key soil properties, and restore soil degradation and land productivity. We recommend further research on cost-benefit analysis to evaluate benefits against investment costs as well as on success factors to draw lessons for scaling up to larger area.

Keywords: Soil degradation, watershed development, soil properties, Ethiopia

Desorption Kinetics and Chemical Forms of Phosphorus in Calcareous Soils along a Climotoposequence

Pages 35-58
Masomeh Moazallahi*, Majid Baghernejad and Hormazd Naghavi

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Soil phosphorus (P) fertility can be significantly affected by the rate of P desorption and fractions in soil. The present study attempted to investigate the comprehensive relationships between different physic-chemical and mineralogical properties of different soils with desorption parameters and chemical forms of P in different soil orders of a climotoposequence. For this purpose, the collected soil samples were incubated with 50 μg P g-1 soil (as KH2PO4) for 90 days. The kinetic data obtained from 0.05 M NaHCO3 were used to simulate desorption equations. The results showed that P desorption in different soil samples was similar, and can be interpreted as an initial rapid release rate followed by a slower rate (biphasic pattern). Among equations fitted on desorption data, the simple Elovich, power function and two first-order reaction models had good prediction based on highest R2 and lowest SE. In the case of studied soil samples, Ca-bound and residual P were found to be the most common chemical forms of P. Moreover, it was observed that the addition of P to soil samples increased the concentration of all fractions. Compared to unamended soil samples, there was an increase in relative percentage of exchangeable-P, Fe- and Al-bound fractions in amended samples. However, Ca-bound and residual P decreased in these samples. Additionally, the results indicate that apart from OM, CEC, silt, available-P and total-P were the significant properties which affected desorption of P; also, important minerals like kaolinite and illite played an important role in the behaviour of P in the studied samples.

Keywords: Phosphorus, desorption kinetics, fractionation, clay minerals

Effect of Soil Buffering Capacity and Clay Minerals on the Rate Coefficient of Non-Exchangeable Potassium Release

Pages 59-75
Sirous Shakeri

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Potassium (K) is an essential element for plant growth. The difference in K release from the non-exchangeable K sources can be a result of soil properties. This research was carried out to assess the effect of soil buffering capacity and clay minerals on the rate coefficient of non-exchangeable potassium release as well as evaluation of kinetic equations in describing and predicting non-exchangeable potassium release in calcareous soils in the southwest of Iran. Extraction of non-exchangeable potassium was performed with 0.01 M CaCl2 and 0.01 M oxalic acid consecutively 15 times within 15-min intervals, in duplicate. The results showed that due to the high buffering capacity of the soils resulting from a high carbonate level and neutralising oxalic acid, no significant difference was observed between the amount of cumulative non-exchangeable potassium released by oxalic acid and CaCl2. The results also showed that the coefficient of potassium release rate (b) in Elovich equation is significantly correlated with non-exchangeable potassium and some physical and chemical characteristics, as samples containing more clay and organic carbon with more cation exchange capacity had the maximum potassium release rates. Therefore the coefficient of potassium release rate (b) can be a more accurate indicator for plant available potassium.

Keywords: Non-exchangeable potassium, calcareous soils, potassium release rate

Leaching of Termiticides Containing Bifenthrin, Fipronil and Imidacloprid in Different Types of Soils under Laboratory Conditions

Pages 77-92
Mohd Fawwaz Mohd Rashid, Shahrem Md Ramli, and Abdul Hafiz Ab Majid*

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Termiticides need to persist in the soil to give continuous protection to the building structures or plantations. Leaching contributes to massive contamination that can further lead to underground water contamination. The leaching activity of three different termiticides (bifenthrin, fipronil and imidacloprid) in different types of soils (sandy loam and loamy sand) under laboratory conditions was evaluated. Leaching activity of the termiticides using a soil column method revealed that bifenthrin had a good adsorption characteristic as its concentration at the top of the column was higher (Sandy loam = 892.77 mg/L; Loamy sand = 1060.93 mg/L) compared to fipronil and imidacloprid. There was no significant difference between soil types (p = 0.131) but there was a significant difference between termiticides used (p = 0.00). The concentration of bifenthrin was higher in the treated area (0-5 cm – top layer) due to the higher KOC value and lower water solubility compared to imidacloprid and fipronil. Thus, bifenthrin is recommended during a rainy season for soil treatment.

Keywords: Termiticides, leaching, imidacloprid, fipronil, bifenthrin

Carbon Stock Estimation of Trees in the Virachilai Ayyanar Sacred Grove in Pudukottai District, Tamil Nadu, India

Pages 93-99
Thandavamoorthy, M

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World carbon emission has been increasing due to the daily anthropogenic advances of human beings. Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has seen an increasing trend every year. Plants in the forests are effective in sequestering and storing carbon below ground and above ground by their photosynthesis process. Trees absorb atmospheric carbon, assimilate and store this carbon as rich organic compounds. Trees in the forests are contributing towards reducing atmospheric carbon. The present study estimated the amount of carbon that is sequestered by trees in Virachilai Ayyanar sacred grove in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu. The carbon stock in the various species ranged from 0.001 tons to 6.41 tons per hectare.

Keywords: Carbon sequestration, above ground biomass, below ground biomass, bio-volume

Long-Term Impact of Cassava Mill Effluent on Some Chemical and Biological Properties of Soils

Pages 101-115
N. H. Okoli*, N. N. Oti, I. I. Ekpe and S. A. Mbawuike

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Effluent generated from cassava processing, when discharged to the soil, alters the nature of soil properties. Hence this study was carried out to evaluate the impact of long-term discharge of cassava mill effluent on soil chemical and biological properties. Using a target sampling technique, four micro pits were dug, two at the polluted site and two 50 m away from the polluted site which served as the control. Soil samples were collected from the pits at varying depths of 0-5 cm, 5-10 cm, 10-15 cm, 15-20 cm and 20-50 cm. Soil samples collected were analysed for chemical and biological properties and data generated were subjected to t-test analysis to assess the impact of cassava effluent on some selected soil chemical properties and biological properties. The results of the chemical properties indicated that the polluted site had higher organic matter (mean=25.97 g kg-1) relative to the control site (mean= 15.42 g kg-1). Total nitrogen was higher in the polluted site (mean = 1.29 g kg-1) relative to the control site (mean = 0.74 g kg-1). Available phosphorus was higher in the polluted site (mean = 13.5 mg kg-1) relative to the control site (mean = 8.67 mg kg-1). Total exchangeable bases (TEB) was higher in the polluted site (mean= 6.7 cmolckg-1) relative to the control site (mean = 4.05 cmolckg-1). Effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) was higher in the polluted site (mean = 8.25 cmolckg-1) relative to the control site (mean = 4.78 cmolckg-1) whereas the pH was lower in the polluted site (mean = 5.71) relative to the control site (mean = 6.8). The results of the biological properties showed that the Total Fungal Count was higher in the polluted site (mean = 1.12 × 105 CFU g-1) relative to the control (mean = 0.33 × 105 CFU g-1) whereas Total Heterotrophic Bacterial Count was lower in the polluted site (mean = 2.29 × 105 CFU g-1) relative to the control (mean = 5.72 × 105 CFU g-1). The t-test analysis result revealed that cassava effluent had a significant positive impact on organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, ECEC and total fungal population whereas it had a significant negative impact on soil pH and total bacterial population.

Keywords: Cassava mill effluent, soil chemical properties, soil biological properties, soil pollution

Potential Use of Substance Flow Analysis to Recount the Nitrogen Flux in Agriculture Soils System in Terengganu

Pages 117-131
Latifah, Abdul Ghani

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The Substance Flow Analysis (SFA) concept has been widely used for the sustainability of material flow management in agriculture of many South-east Asia studies including Malaysia. Focusing on agricultural land, this paper emphasises the dynamic analysis of nitrogen flux from sectors, processes and flows that enter, leave, circulate and also accumulate in the metabolism of agricultural land. SubSTance Flow Analysis software (STAN 2.5) and Microsoft Excel have been used to complete the nitrogen equilibrium calculation in four selected subsystems which are subsystem market use, crop production, livestock production and environment, in six districts in Terengganu. In the present study, intensive use of nitrate fertilisers (5835 tons N per year), crop harvesting (3645 tonnes per year), and water absorbing into underground systems (1969 tons per year), have been identified as the major contributors to environmental degradation. The results of the present study found that the SFA method is very practical to estimate the amount of agricultural nutrient load, to identify the contribution of agricultural activity, the level of land use, and also to analyse the pattern of agricultural nutrient release space in Terengganu. Some innovative proposals are also offered and hopefully this study can be used as a reference for any sustainable management plan for other scientific studies.

Keywords: Substance Flow Analysis (SFA), nitrogen (N), agriculture soil, Terengganu, sustainability

Fractionation of Cadmium in a Calcareous Sandy Loam Soil Amended with Almond Soft Husk Compost and Biochar

Pages 133-145
Zahra Dianat Maharlouei* and Majid Fekri

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Reducing the mobility of heavy metals in soils is one of the best soil remediation methods to decrease the mobile fraction of the metals. This study was conducted to evaluate the degree of mobility and fractionation of cadmium (Cd) after the addition of almond soft husk compost and biochar in a sandy loam calcareous soil. The efficacy of amendments was evaluated using sequential extraction. This research was factorial and based on a completely randomised design with three levels of cadmium nitrate (0, 40 and 80 mg kg-1 soil) and three levels (0, 2 and 4 wt %) of almond soft husk compost and biochar application rate. It was conducted in three replications. The application of biochar at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 40 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 66% and the carbonate-Cd by 23% during the 45 days after incubation compared to the control treatment. Meanwhile, the application of biochar at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 80 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 62% and the carbonate-Cd by 17% compared to the control treatment. The application of compost at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 40 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 39% and the carbonate-Cd by 16% compared to the control treatment, while the application of compost at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 80 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 47% and the carbonate-Cd by 13.5% compared to the control treatment. The application of biochar at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 40 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 40% and the carbonate-Cd by 7% compared to the compost, while the application of biochar at 4 wt % to soil spiked with 80 mg kg-1 cadmium reduced the exchangeable Cd by 28% and the carbonate-Cd by 2% compared to the compost. The highest mobility factor in soils treated with different concentrations of cadmium was related to control treatment, which was calculated to be 57.4%.

Keywords: Calcareous soil, chemical forms, mobility, sequential extraction, soil pollution

Activation of Sub-bituminous Powder with Urea and Dolomite to Improve Nutrient Content of Ultisols and the Growth of Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) Seedlings

Pages 147-160
Teguh Budi Prasetyo, Herviyanti, Juniarti, Mimien Harianti, Natasya Permatasari Panjaitan

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This study aimed to examine the interaction effects of sub-bituminous powder and an activator to improve the chemical properties of Ultisols and the growth of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) seedlings. This research was done in the Laboratory of Soil Chemistry and Experimental Garden of the Agricultural Faculty of Andalas University from December 2016 to June 2017. A 2-factor factorial Completely Random Design (CRD) was used with three replications. The first factor was the activator: (A0) without activator, (A1) 10% urea, and (A2) 10% dolomite. The second factor was the dose of sub-bituminous powder: (B1) 10 ton ha-1, (B2) 20 ton ha-1 and (B3) 30 ton ha-1. The results showed that the: (1) added sub-bituminous powder interacted with the activator to increase total-N of soil and plant height, with the highest achieved by the dose of 30 ton ha-1 sub-bituminous powder with urea as activator; (2) The addition of sub-bituminous powder at a dose of 30 ton ha-1 was able to increase pH, organic-C, available-P, CEC of the Ultisol and the level of plant N and P at 0.03% and 0.05% compared with the dose of 10 ton ha-1; (3) The addition of urea as an activator increased pH by 0.09 unit, organic-C by 0.18%, available-P in Ultisol by 0.92 ppm, and CEC of 2.10 cmol (+)/kg, as well as decreased Al-exchange by 0.49 cmol (+)/kg and increased plant nitrogen by 0.07%, leaf number by 1.64 leaves, seedling dry weight by 9.19 g compared with treatment without activator.

Keywords: Sub-bituminous, Ultisols, urea, dolomite, oil-palm seedlings

Assessing Soil Quality of a Regenerating Mangrove Forest Using Geospatial Modelling Approach

Pages 161-173
Jeyanny, V. *, Siva Kumar B., Ne'ryez, S.R., Fakhri M.I., Daljit, S.K., Maisarah, M.Z., Wan Rasidah, K. and Husni, M.H.A.

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Mangrove forest plays an important role in our ecosystems. The functions of mangroves include coastline protection, aquaculture, firewood source, charcoal production and the conservation of floral and faunal species. The decline in mangrove coastlines over the years has raised the need to investigate and document the soil quality of microsites within regenerating and established mangrove stands. This paper aims to showcase the important changes that took place in a newly regenerating mangrove using geospatial tools as a preliminary guideline on rehabilitating mangroves. An established mangrove stand (back portion) and a newly regenerating mangrove stand (front portion) were selected in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Systematic sampling with 40 quadrants each measuring 5 m2 were established in both plots. Soil sampling at 15 cm depths were carried out and geo-referenced using a GPS receiver. Electrical conductivity, soil pH and soil organic carbon (C) were analysed using standard laboratory practices. The variables were first explored using univariate statistics. This was followed by variography and kriging analyses to quantify spatial variability of soil variables. Soil variables exhibited a strong to moderate spatial dependence. Surface maps of the test variables displayed spatial clustering and acceptable accuracy of interpolated values. Values for soil C and soil EC were significantly lower and soil pH was near neutral in the regenerating site but the continuous improvement of soil structure and vegetative proliferation may promise a successful rehabilitation model of coastline mangroves in time. Site-specific management of mangrove forest based on soil quality is necessary for future rehabilitation initiatives that incorporate selection of suitable species for planting, application of soil amendments and innovative planting methods to boost survival of seedlings.

Keywords: Coastline ecosystem, spatial variability, soil carbon, soil pH, soil electrical conductivity, rehabilitation