Variability of soil physical and hydraulic properties along a toposequence in the coastal lowlands of rio de janeiro

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Abstract

Soil physical and hydraulic properties are interdependent, and soil-use planning and management are complicated by the high variability of these attributes. The current study assessed the variability of physical and hydraulic properties of soils along a toposequence located in a forest fragment under spontaneous regeneration in the coastal lowlands of Rio de Janeiro. Four soil profiles were selected, and samples were collected from surface and subsurface horizons for determination of moisture content, bulk density, macroporosity, microporosity, hydraulic conductivity, texture, and soil resistance to penetration (measured using benchtop and field penetrometers). Exploratory and principal component analyses were performed, and descriptive parameters and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated. In A horizons of profiles 3 (Planossolo) and 4 (Gleissolo), clay contents ranged from 59.0 to 577.0 g kg-1, moisture contents from 1.5 to 16.4%, and microporosity from 10.4 to 46.2%, respectively. Field-and laboratory-measured penetration resistances showed a stronger association with profile 1 (Argissolo); however, values were not sufficiently high to limit root development. The variability in soil physical and hydraulic properties in short slopes is high, mainly in terms of hydraulic conductivity, moisture, microporosity, and clay content. The greater variability of soil physical and hydraulic properties in lowland is attributed to clay and silt fractions, microporosity, and moisture content. The increment in clay content with depth increases bulk density and resistance to root penetration.

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Gaia-Gomes, J. H., Pinheiro Junior, C. R., Pereira, M. G., de Almeida, W. S., & Silva, G. T. (2021). Variability of soil physical and hydraulic properties along a toposequence in the coastal lowlands of rio de janeiro. Revista Ambiente e Agua, 16(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.4136/ambi-agua.2579

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