Share This Article:

Soil Agricultural Potential in Four Common Andean Land Use Types in the Highlands of Southern Ecuador as Revealed by a Corn Bioassay

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:535KB) PP. 1129-1140
DOI: 10.4236/as.2015.610108    3,247 Downloads   3,745 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In the Andes, little is known about the relationships among current land uses and their effect on soil fertility. Corn (Zea mays L.) was used to evaluate soil quality for plant growth on soils of four land uses, along an expected gradient of fertility: native forests (Nf) > pastures (Pa) > Eucalyptus globulus Labill. plantations (Eg) > Pinus patula Schlecht. plantations (Pp). Corn was grown in soils taken from four different areas, for the four land uses in each. In a common garden, a randomized block design was used with four treatments: controls (C), ammonium nitrate (N), triple superphosphate (P), and combined N and P fertilizers (N + P). On soils from Nf, Pa and Eg, fertilization response was N + P > P > N > C; corn biomass (g/pot-1) averaged 4.5 in N + P, 3.3 in P, 1.8 in N, 1.7 in C; P content (mg/pot-1) averaged 12 in N + P, 11.9 in P, 2.3 in N, 2 in C. N + P enhanced growth the most. Mortality was high on Pp soils, growth weak, and fertilization response was P > N + P > C ≥ N; corn biomass (g/pot-1) was 0.9 in P, 0.5 in N + P, 0.8 in C, 0.4 in N; P content (mg/pot-1) was 4.4 in P, 2.3 in N + P, 1.8 in C, 1 in N. All soils had P, K, Ca and Mg deficiencies. Al toxicity possibly occurred only in Pp soils. All control soils had low fertility. Responses to N and P were high except for Pp. Pastures and plantations were once natural forests converted to agriculture, then to pastures as soil fertility declined. Plantations were likely established on poorest pastures; only pine grew on poorest soils. This land use endpoint has the lowest agricultural potential; other land uses have limitations in P, N, and potentially K.

Cite this paper

Chacón, G. , Gagnon, D. and Paré, D. (2015) Soil Agricultural Potential in Four Common Andean Land Use Types in the Highlands of Southern Ecuador as Revealed by a Corn Bioassay. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 1129-1140. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.610108.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

[1] García, F. (2006) El Sector Agrario del Ecuador: Incertidumbres (Riesgos) Ante la Globalización. íconos, 24, 71-88.
[2] Bretón, V. (2008) From Agrarian Reform to Ethnodevelopment in the Highlands of Ecuador. Journal of Agrarian Change, 8, 583-617.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0366.2008.00181.x
[3] Nieto-Cabrera, C., Francis, C., Caicedo, C., Gutiérrez, P.F. and Rivera, M. (1997) Response of Four Andean Crops to Rotation and Fertilization. Mountain Research and Development, 17, 273-282.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3673854
[4] Harden, C.P. and Hyman, G. (2007) Agriculture and Soil Erosion. In: Orme, T., Veblen, T. and Young, K., Eds., The Physical Geography of South America, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 289-304.
[5] Knoke, T., Bendix, J., Pohle, P., Hamer, U., Hildebrandt, P., Roos, K., Gerique, A., Sandoval, M.L., Breuer, L., Tischer, A., Silva, B., Calvas, B., Aguirre, N., Castro, L.M., Windhorst, D., Weber, M., Stimm, B., Günter, S., Palomeque, X., Mora, J., Mosandl, R. and Beck, E. (2014) Afforestation or Intense Pasturing Improve the Ecological and Economic Value of Abandoned Tropical Farmlands. Nature Communications, 5, 1-12.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6612
[6] Hofstede, R.G.M., Groenendijk, J.P., Coppus, R., Fehse, J.C. and Sevink, J. (2002) Impact of Pine Plantations on Soils and Vegetation in the Ecuadorian High Andes. Mountain Research and Development, 22, 159-167.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/0276-4741(2002)022[0159:IOPPOS]2.0.CO;2
[7] Podwojewski, P., Poulenard, J., Zambrana, T. and Hofstede, R. (2002) Overgrazing Effects on Vegetation Cover and Properties of Volcanic Ash Soil in the Páramo of Llangahua and La Esperanza (Tungurahua, Ecuador). Soil Use and Management, 18, 45-55.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/SUM2002100
[8] Farley, K.A. and Kelly, E.F. (2004) Effects of Afforestation of a Páramo Grassland on Soil Nutrient Status. Forest Ecology and Management, 195, 281-290.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2003.12.015
[9] Buytaert, W., Deckers, J. and Wyseure, G. (2006) Description and Classification of Nonallophanic Andosols in South Ecuadorian Alpine Grasslands (Páramo). Geomorphology, 73, 207-221.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2005.06.012
[10] Chacón, G., Gagnon, D. and Paré, D. (2009) Comparison of Soil Properties of Native Forests and Pinus patula Plantations, and Pastures in the Andean highlands of southern Ecuador: Land-Use History or Recent Vegetation Effects? Soil Use and Management, 25, 427-433.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2009.00233.x
[11] Harden, C.P. (2006) Human Impacts on Headwater Fluvial Systems in the Northern and Central Andes. Geomorphology, 79, 249-263.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.06.021
[12] Bossio, D.A. and Cassman, K.G. (1991) Traditional Rainfed Barley Production in the Andean Highlands of Ecuador: Soil Nutrient Limitations and Other Constraints. Mountain Research and Development, 11, 115-126.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3673571
[13] Espinosa, J. (1992) Phosphorus Diagnosis and Recommendations in Volcanic Ash Soils. PDSS Proceedings, Trop Soils Bulletin, 92, 109-115.
[14] Chacón-Vintimilla, G., Gagnon, D., Paré, D. and Proulx, D. (2003) Impacto de la Deforestación, Pastizales, Plantaciones de Eucalipto y Pino en Suelos de Bosque Montano Alto, en la Sierra Sur del Ecuador. Revista de Investigaciones de la Universidad del Azuay, 11, 19-34.
[15] Shoji, S., Nanzyo, M. and Dahlgren, R. (1993) Productivity and Utilization of Volcanic Ash Soils. In: Shoji, S., Nanzyo, M. and Dahlgreen, R., Eds., Volcanic Ash Soils: Genesis, Properties and Utilization, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 209-251.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0166-2481(08)70269-1
[16] Oades, J.M., Guillman, G.P. and Uehara, G. (1989) Interactions of Soil Organic Matter and Variable-Charge Clays. In: Coleman, D.C., Oades, J.M. and Uehara, G., Eds., Dynamics of Soil Organic Matter in Tropical Ecosystems, NifTAL Project, Honolulu, 69-95.
[17] Uehara, G. and Gillman, G. (1981) The Mineralogy, Chemistry, and Physics of Tropical Soils with Variable-Charge Clays. West-View Press, Boulder.
[18] Buytaert, W., Deckers, J. and Wyseure, G. (2007) Regional Variability of Volcanic Ash Soils in South Ecuador: The Relation with Parent Material, Climate and Land-Use. Catena, 70, 143-154.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2006.08.003
[19] Chacón-Vintimilla, G. (2002) Impact of Exotic Tree Plantations and Pastures on Soil Productivity in the Andean High-lands of Southern Ecuador. PhD Dissertation, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal.
[20] Farley, K.A., Bremer, L.L., Harden, C.P. and Hartsig, J. (2013) Changes in Carbon Storage under Alternative Land Uses in Biodiverse Andean Grasslands: Implications for Payment for Ecosystem Services. Conservation Letters, 6, 21-27.
[21] Harden, C.P., Hartsig, J., Farley, K.A., Lee, J. and Bremer, L.L. (2013) Effects of Land-Use Change on Water in Andean Páramo Grassland Soils. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103, 375-384.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2013.754655
[22] Celleri, R., Willems, P., Buytaert, W. and Feyen, J. (2007) Space-Time Rainfall Variability in the Paute Basin, Ecuadorian Andes. Hydrological Processes, 21, 3316-3327.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.6575
[23] Hall, M.N. and Calle, J. (1982) Geochronological Control for the Main Tectonic-Magmatic Events of Ecuador. Earth-Science Reviews, 18, 215-239.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0012-8252(82)90038-1
[24] Allen, S. (1989) Analysis of Vegetation and Other Organic Materials. In: Allen, D., Ed., Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials, Blackwell, Oxford, 46-61.
[25] Maynard, D.G. and Kalra, Y.P. (1993) Nitrate and Exchangeable Ammonium Nitrogen. In: Carter, M.R., Ed., Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, 25-38.
[26] Hendershot, W.H., Lalande, H. and Duquette, M. (1993) Soil Reaction and Exchangeable Acidity. In: Carter, M.R., Ed., Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, 141-145.
[27] McKeague, J.A. (1978) Manuel de méthodes d’échantillonage et d’analyse des sols. Comité Canadien de Pédologie, Ottawa.
[28] Grimshaw, H.M. (1989) Analysis of Soil. In: Allen, S.E. and Stewart, A., Eds., Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials, Blackwell, Oxford, 7-45.
[29] Lenth, R.V. (1989) Quick and Easy Analysis of Unreplicated Factorials. Technometrics, 31, 469-473.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00401706.1989.10488595
[30] SAS Institute Inc. (2008) SAS/STAT® 9.2 User’s Guide. SAS Institute Inc., Cary.
[31] OMAF Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (1988) 1989-1990 Field Crop Recommendations. Queens Printer for Ontario, Publication 296.
[32] Blevins, D.G. (1994) Uptake, Translocation, and Function of Essential Mineral Elements in Crop Plants. In: Boote, K.J., Bennett, J.M., Sinclair, T.R. and Paulsen, G.M., Eds., Physiology and Determination of Crop Yield, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 259-275.
[33] Reinbott, T.M. and Blevins, D.G. (1991) Phosphate Interaction with Uptake and Leaf Concentration of Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium in Winter Wheat Seedlings. Agronomy Journal, 83, 1043-1046.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj1991.00021962008300060021x
[34] Denslow, J.S., Vitousek, P.M. and Schultz, J.C. (1987) Bioassays of Nutrient Limitation in a Tropical Rain Forest Soil. Oecologia, 74, 370-376.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00378932
[35] Antoniadis, V., Hatzis, F., Bachtsevanidis, D. and Koutroubas, S.D. (2015) Phosphorus Availability in Low-P and Acidic Soils as Affected by Liming and P Addition. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 46, 1288-1298.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2015.1033539
[36] Jaskulsca, I., Jaskulski, D. and Kobierski, M. (2014) Effect of Liming on the Change of Some Agrochemical Soil Properties in a Long-Term Fertilization Experiment. Plant, Soil and Environment, 60, 146-150.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.