Comparison of soil degradation processes in selected degraded uplands in Samar island

IMG_4967Dernie T. Olguera* and Victor B. Asio, 2013 *(dernie_27@yahoo.com)

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the dominant soil degradation processes in selected degraded uplands of Samar Island, determined the important factors influencing soil degradation in the selected sites and identified the indicators of soil degradation.Two (2) sites were selectedin Sta. Rita, Samar and Salcedo, Eastern, Samar representing the western and eastern sides of Samar Island respectively, were selected.

Soil erosion is the major soil degradation process in the degraded upland studied. It resulted not only in considerable soil losses but nutrient losses as well. Soil erosion varied with vegetation cover and site. It was much higher in the sweetpotato, cassava, and gabi crops than under natural vegetation. In addition, soil erosion was higher in Salcedo than in Sta. Rita which is related to climatic and soil characteristics. Bulk density, porosity, aggregate stability, soil pH, organic matter, and carbon dioxide evolution are good indicators of soil degradation. Dominance of Saccharum officinarum, Imperata cylindrica, Melastoma affini and Psidium guajava indicated degraded soil condition. Farmer’s practices particularly clean culture and organic fertilizer application influenced the degree of soil degradation.

Keywords: soil degradation, soil erosion, degraded uplands, Samar Island

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