Impact of changing vegetation cover on some of the physical characteristics of forest soils of Langate Forest Division of Kashmir Himalaya

 Helal A. LONE1, Mukhtar A. BHAT2 and Ashok A. PANDIT3

 

1, 2 Department of Botany, Amar Singh College, Cluster University Srinagar-190 008, (J & K).

3 Centre of Research for Development, University of Kashmir, Srinagar

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in some of the physical properties of soils after change in vegetation cover in the forests of Langate Forest Division of Kashmir Himalaya. The study area was divided into four territorial forest rages. From each of the four territorial forest ranges, the composite soil samples were collected from different vegetation covers like trees, shrubs and herbs. The soils under the different vegetation covers varied in all physical parameters in all the four territorial forest ranges. The soils under the different vegetation covers varied in texture from clay-loam (reported under trees) to sandy-loam (reported under shrubs) to silt-loam (reported under herbs). The soils under tree canopies depicted higher values of moisture content and water-retaining capacity as compared to the soils under shrubs and herbs. On the contrary, the soil temperature showed an inverse relationship with soil moisture, being higher for the soils under herbs as compared to the soils under shrubs and trees. The soils under different vegetation covers depicted highly significant negative correlation at P=<0.05 between temperature and moisture content (r=-0.394; r=-0.457; r=-0.497) for trees, shrubs and herbs respectively.

Keywords: Composite soil sample; Kashmir Himalaya; Langate Forest Division; Moisture content; Physical properties; Territorial ranges; Vegetation cover; Water-holding capacity

 

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Soil temperature prediction using measured atmospheric temperature in two high altitude regions of Kenya

 LANGÁT, Joseph Kimutai

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, School of Agriculture & Natural Resources Management, Kisii University, P. O. Box 408-40200, KISII, KENYA. +254 722 305 965. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Soil stores heat energy during the day, supplying it to its near surface at night. Soil temperature, an important environmental regulator for crop growth, is the function of heat flux in the soil and heat exchanges between soil and the atmosphere. Its determination however, is time-consuming, costly and is not suitable for wide range coverage. It was on this basis that on-site underground measurements were conducted with the main objective of investigating the correlation between air and soil temperature in two highland regions of Kenya. Two variables were investigated: atmospheric and soil temperatures as from the year 2000 to 2010 (11 years) at Timbilil (0O22'S, 35O21'E, 2200 metres above level), and for four years (2007-2010) at Kangaita (0O30’S, 37O16’E, elevation of 2100 metres). Measurements were done thrice daily, with soil temperature readings taken at a depth of 30cm. The coefficient correlation was determined using Pearson’s distribution with atmospheric temperature being independent, while soil temperature was a dependent variable across the two locations at p01. The computed differences between soil and air temperatures for Kangaita and Timbilil were 4.6167OC (SED ±1.2543) and 2.1636OC (SED ±0.2838) respectively. Timbilil and Kangaita soil and air temperature differences subjected to two-way ANOVA (F pr ≤ 0.001) indicated sites are statistically different from each other. The outcome rejects the use of a universal air temperature to calculate soil temperature at d=30 cm for blanket highland regions of Kenya. The study concluded that empirical models are site specific. Soil temperature of each site should be determined independently.

Keywords: Air temperature, empirical models, soil temperature, tea (Camellia sinensis)

 

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