Effects of two land clearing methods on the physical properties of an Oxisol in the Brazilian Amazon

Authors

  • Antonio Carlos C.P. Dias Department of Soil Science, University of Reading, Reading, U.K.
  • Stephen Nortcliff Department of Soil Science, University of Reading, Reading, U.K.

Keywords:

Land Clearance, Soil physical properties, Amazon forest, Oxisol

Abstract

A field experiment was established on a heavy clayey Oxisol in the Amazon region near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, to compare the effects on soil physical properties of two different methods of clearance of tropical rainforest: (a) traditional slash-and-burn clearance and (b) mechanical clearance using bulldozers. Comparisons were made with adjacent virgin forest soils. Removal of topsoil, mechanical impedance, dry bulk density, porosity, moisture content and infiltration capacity were measured. The clearing of the forest by bulldozer resulted in considerable topsoil removal and deterioration of the soil structure. The hand-felling and burning method of clearing produced conditions little changed from those under virgin forest.

Issue

Section

Research Papers