Soil Property Variations Under Different Land Use/ Cover Types In Traditional Agricultural Landscape In Northeast India

  • T Shimrarh Assistant Professor, University School of Environment Management, GGS IP University, New Delhi, Pin–110078
  • KS Rao Professor, Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi, Pin –110007
  • KG Saxena Professor School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Pin –110067
Keywords: Soil, Property Variations, Landscape, Agricultural


Clearing of forests and their subsequent conv ersion into croplands greatly influence soils in terms of its water holding capacity, structure stability and compactness, nutrient supply and storage as well as its biological life. Consequently, many agricultural soils in the tropics are now below their potential levels. In this paper we are reporting that there is expansion of agricultural land use in Northeast India at the expense of forest area in order to meet increasing human population and market demands. New land use/ cover types are also being introduced for commercial and well as subsistence purpose. On the other hand fallow period of shifting agriculture has been reduced. We suggest that a minimum fallow period of seven years is necessary sufficiency of soil nutrients and vegetation in this humid subtropical mountain landscape of Northeast India.


[1] Ahn, P .M. (1974). Some observations on basic and applied research in shifting cultivation. FAO Soils Bull., 24: 123-154.
[2] Alam, M.K. and Salahin, N. (2013). Changes in soil physical properties and crop productivity as influenced by different tillage depth and cropping patterns. Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Research, 38, 289-299. ( php/BJA r /article/view/15891 )
[3] Allen, S.E., M.H. Grimshaw, J.A. Parkinson and C. Quarmby. (1974). Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials.In:(Ed.): S.E. Allen. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford London, Edinburg, Melbourne, pp. 386.
[4] Andriesse, J.P . and Koopmans, T. (1984). A monitoring study on nutrient cycles in soils used for shifting cultivation under various climatic conditions in tropical Asia. I. The influence of simulated burning on form and availability of plant nutrients. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 12: 1-16.
[5] Brown, A. and Lugo, A.E. (1990).Tropical secondary forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 6: 2-32.
[6] Christanty, L. (1986). Shifting cultivation and tropical soils: patterns, problems, and possible improvements. In: G.G. Marten (Ed.), Traditional Agriculture in Southeast Asia. Westview Press, Boulder, CO, pp. 226-240.
[7] Civeira, G. (2011).Estimation of Carbon Inputs to Soils from Wheat in the Pampas region, Argentina. Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 47, S39–S42. ( )
[8] Dominy, C.S., Haynes, R .J. and van Antwerpen, R. (2002). Loss of soil organic matter and related soil properties under long-term sugarcane production on two contrasting soils. Biol. Fertil. Soils, 36: 350-356. ( ). 95
[9] Dove, M. R. (1985).Swidden Agriculture in Indonesia: The Subsistence Strategies of the Kalimantan Kantu. Mouton, Berlin, 515 pp.
[10] Duryea, M.L., English, R .J. and Hermansen, L.A. 1999. A comparison of landscape mulches: chemical, allelopathic, and decomposition properties. J. Abor ., 25 : 88-97.
[11] Ewel, J., Berish, C., Brown, B., Price, N. and Raich, J. (1981). Slash and burn impacts on a Costa r ican wet forest site. Ecology , 62 : 816-829.
[12] Eyre, S. R . (1968).Vegetation and Soils – A World Picture. Edward Arnold Publishers Limited, U.K.
[13] Fernandes, E.C.M., Mota Valli, P.P., Castilla, C. and Mukurumbira, L. (1997). Management control of soil organic matter dynamics in tropical land-use systems. Geoderma, 79 : 49-67.
[14] Forest Survey of India (FSI), (2013). India State of Forest Report, Dehradun -248195, India. ( )
[15] Galindo-Jaimes, L., Gonzalez-Espinosa, M., Quintana-Ascencio, P. and Garcia- Barrios, L. (2002). Tree composition and structure in disturbed stands with varying dominance by Pinus the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Plant Ecology, 162 : 259-272. ( )
[16] Garcia-Barrios, L. and Gonzalez-Espinosa, M. (2004). Change in oak to pine dominance in secondary forests may reduce shifting agriculture yields: experimental evidence from Chiapas, Mexico. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 102: 389-401. ( )
[17] IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). (2000). Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. (www. ipcc .ch/)
[18] Ketema, H. and Yimer, F. (2014). Soil property variation under agroforestry based conservation tillage and maize based conventional tillage in Southern Ethipia. Soil and Tillage Research, 141, 25 – 31. ( )
[19] Lemenih, M. and Itanna, F . (2004).Soil carbon stock and turnovers in various vegetation types and arable lands along an elevation gradient in southern Ethiopia. Geoderma, 123: 177-188.
[20] Lepsch, I.F ., Menk, J. r .F. and Oliveria, J.B. (1994).Carbon storage and other properties of soils under agriculture and natural vegetation in São Paulo State, Brazil. Soil Use Manage., 10: 34-42.
[21] Lugo, A.E., Sanchez, M.J. and Brown, S. (1986). Land use and organic carbon concentration of some sub-tropical soils. Plant Soil, 96: 185–196.
[22] Magill, A.H. and Abers, J.D. (1998).Long-term effects of experimental nitrogen additions on foliar litter decay and humus formation in forest ecosystems. Plant Soil, 203: 301-311.
[23] Neill, C., Piccolo, M.C., Cerri, C.C., Steudler, P.A., Melillo, J.M. and Brito, M. (1997).Net nitrogen mineralization and net nitrification rates in soils following deforestation for pasture across the southwestern Brazilian Amazon Basin landscape. Oecologia, 110 : 243-252.
[24] Olsen, S. R. and Sommers, L.E. (1982). Phosphorus, In: A.L. Page, r .H. Miller and D. R. Kenny, (Eds.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2.American Society of Agronomy, Madison. Shimrah, T. Rao, K.S. Saxena, K.G. 96
[25] Piccolo, M.C., Neill, C. and Cerri, C.C. (1994).Net nitrogen mineralization and net nitrification along a tropical forest-to-pasture chronosequence. Plant Soil, 162: 61-70.
[26] Raintree, J.B. and Warner, K. (1986).Agroforestry pathways for intensification of shifting agriculture. Agroforestry Systems, 4 : 39-54.
[27] Ramakrishnan, P.S., Saxena, K.G., Patnaik, S. and Singh, S. (2003). Methodological Issues in Mountain Research: A Socio-ecological Systems Approach. Oxford & IBH, Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 283pp.
[28] Rasiah, V., Florentine, S.K., Williams, B.L. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2004).The impact of deforestation and pasture abandonment on soil properties in the wet tropics of Australia. Geoderma, 120: 35-45.
[29] Roder, W., Calvert, O. and Dorji, Y, (1993). Effect of burning on selected soil parameters in a grass fallow shifting cultivation system in Bhutan. Plant and Soil, 149: 51-58.
[30] Sanchez, P .A., Villachica, J.H. and Bandy, D.E. (1983).Soil fertility dynamics after clearing a tropical rainforest in Peru. American Journal of Soil Science Society, 47: 1171-1178.
[31] Solomon, D., Fritzsche, F ., Lehmann, J., Tekalign, M. and Zech, W. (2002). Soil organic matter dynamics in the sub-humid agroecosystems of the Ethiopian highlands: evidence from natural 13C abundance and particle-size fractionation. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 66: 969-978. ( pe=pdf )
[32] Sombroek, W.G., Nachtergaele, F.O. and Hebel, A. (1993).Amounts, dynamics and sequestering of carbon in tropical and subtropical soils. Ambio, 22: 417-426.
[33] Tiessen, H., Cuevas, E. and Chacon, P. (1994).The role of soil organic matter in sustaining soil fertility. Nature, 371: 783–785.
[34] Turner, B.L. and Haygarth, P.M. (2001).Phosphorus solubilization in rewetted soils. Nature, 411: 258.
[35] Turner, M.G. (1989). Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern and process. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 20: 171-197.
[36] Vitorello, V.A., Cerri, C.C., Andreux, F., Feller, C. and Victoria, r .L. (1989). Organic matter and natural carbon-13 distribution in deforested and cultivated oxisols. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 53: 773-778.
[37] Wairiu, M. and Lal, R. (2003).Soil organic carbon in relation to cultivation and topsoil removal on sloping lands of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. Soil & Tillage Research, 70: 19-27. ( file:///C:/Users/usem/Downloads/Tinio_Croplands-libre.pdf ).
[38] Weinert, E. and Mazurek, A. (1984).Notes on vegetation and soil in Bale Province of Ethiopia. Feddes Rep. Band, 95: 373-380.
[39] Woomer, P.L., Palm, C.A., Qureshi, J.N. and Kotto-Same, J. (1997). Carbon sequestration and organic resource management in African smallholder agriculture. In: R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R .F. Follett and B.A. Stewart, (Eds.), Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil. C r C Press, New York, (Chapter 12), pp. 153-173.
[40] Yimer, F., Ledin, S., Abdu Abdelkadir, (2006a). Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stocks as affected by topographic aspect and vegetation in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia. Geoderma 135, 335–344.
[41] Yimer, F., S. Ledin and A. Abdelkadir, (2006b).Soil property variations in relation to topographic aspect and vegetation community in the south-eastern highlands of Ethiopia. Forest Ecology and Management, 232: 90–99.
[42] Zink e, P.J., Sabhasri, S. and Kunstadter, P. (1978). Soil fertility aspects of the Lua’ fallow system of shifting cultivation. In: P. Kunstadter, E.C. Chapman and S. Sabhasri (Eds.), Farmers in the Forest: Economic Development and Marginal Agriculture in Northern Thailand, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI, pp. 134-159.
[43] Zublena, J.P ., Baird, J.V. and Lilly, J.P. (1991). Nutrient content of organic materials. Extension soil science specialists, North Carolina Coop, Ext. Serv. Publ. AG
How to Cite
T Shimrarh, KS Rao, & KG Saxena. (1). Soil Property Variations Under Different Land Use/ Cover Types In Traditional Agricultural Landscape In Northeast India. Journal of Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Its Applications, 2(1), 73-97. Retrieved from