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ASSESSING SOIL FERTILITY STATUS OF REHABILITATED DEGRADED TROPICAL RAINFOREST

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Author(s): Aiza Shaliha Jamaluddin | Arifin Abdu | Hazandy Abdul-Hamid | Mohd Hadi Akbar | Trevor Saga Banga | Shamshuddin Jusop | Nik Muhamad Majid

Journal: American Journal of Environmental Sciences
ISSN 1553-345X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 280;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Rehabilitated Forest | Secondary Forest | Physical and Chemical Properties | Soil Fertility | SFI and SEF indices

ABSTRACT
An assessment of forest rehabilitation program in relation to soil fertility status by using soil indices could provide fundamental information on soil suitability for species preferences and improve the effective technique for future rehabilitation program in tropical rainforests. This study was conducted in order to characterize the soil properties and identifying the soil fertility status of rehabilitated and secondary forests. Soil samples were collected in year 2009 at rehabilitation forests (20 years after planting) and secondary forest of Nirwana Forest Reserve, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu Campus, Sarawak, Malaysia. The rehabilitation plots were planted with mixed dipterocarp and non-dipterocarp species since 1991. Prior to conversion of the areas into various land use types, the rehabilitation and secondary forests areas were considered as natural forests and subsequently subjected to forest logging with Selective Management System (SMS) in 1980s.The plot size for each site was 20×20 m for 18 experimental sites (at different ages after planting) were established, followed by soil sampling at 0-15 cm and 15-30 cm depth randomly using soil auger. Standard soil analysis for physical and chemical properties was used to analyze the soil samples. The soil fertility status was evaluated using two indices, namely Soil Fertility Index (SFI) and Soil Evaluation Factor (SEF) for both rehabilitated and secondary forests. The results showed that there were significant differences (p
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