Effects of Slash-and-Burn Practices on Soil Quality at Different Landscape Positions in the Raumoco Watershed, Municipality of Lautem, Timor-Leste

Delfim Da Costa, Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, Rico C. Ancog
2022 Open Journal of Ecology  
Slash-and-burn practices used by farmers in prior growing periods could affect soil quality, particularly topsoil properties. This study aimed to assess soil biophysical and chemical properties at different landscape levels within the watershed site. Soil samples were collected by a core method in the topsoil layer in slash-and-burn sites. Field analysis was on bulk density and porosity by the gravimetric method, while laboratory analysis was done on organic matter by the Loss on Ignitions
more » ... d and other macronutrients for crops (total nitrogen, phosphorus availability, and potassium availability) followed standard analytical methods. To see if there was a significant difference between sites, DMRT 5% was used. The results of the study showed slash-and-burn practice affects soil physical properties such that high bulk density in upstream, midstream, and downstream ranged from 1.55 g/cm 3 to 1.71 g/cm 3 , 1.55 g/cm 3 to 1.80 g/cm 3 , and 1.38 g/cm 3 to 1.79 g/cm 3 respectively. Poor porosity in upstream, midstream, and downstream ranged from 33.91% to 40.06%, 30.38% to 41.75%, and 30.91% to 46.65%, respectively. Organic matter content was low in the upstream, midstream, and downstream areas, ranging from 2.86% to 3.39%, 2.58% to 3.88%, and 2.91% to 3.88%, respectively. However, soil pH remains neutral, and nitrogen levels are low but near-optimal in the upstream and very low in the midstream and downstream. Phosphorus is extremely high upstream but very low in midstream and downstream. However, potassium remains at a low level close optimum level in the entire watershed.
doi:10.4236/oje.2022.127026 fatcat:u3d4oij34rhcvpzwnudnvoxgju