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Soil Morphological Properties of Planted Mono and Mixed Tree Species at Gunung Apeng National Park, Sarawak

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Reforestation and effective soil conservation management is required to restore and manage degraded forest land in tropics. Information regarding the soil characteristics in forest land is essential as a guide in future reforestation programme. The differences in soil characteristics are usually attributed to differences in environmental factors such as topography, runoff and tree species planted which affect the soil genesis (Tamai, 2010). Hence, assessment of soil characteristics such as soil morphological properties is important to determine the condition of the soils in forest areas. Soil morphological on a given land can be determined by observing the soil profile of the different soil horizon. During in-situ observation, the interpretation of soil can show various soil attributes. In this study, assessment on the soil morphological properties of reforested areas planted with different tree species of mono and mixed species planting was conducted. Hence, obtaining the status of the soil condition in the study area is essential in order to determine the suitability of the selected tree species and the planting technique in order to achieve the most productive level in terms of its growth and performance.
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SOIL MORPHOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF PLANTED MONO AND MIXED
TREE SPECIES AT GUNUNG APENG NATIONAL PARK, SARAWAK
Anarrin, N.J.1, Wasli, M.E.1, Douglas, B.1, Perumal, M.1, Sani, H.1, Oscar, J.N.2, Lat, J.2,
Hidir,M.1 and Arip, S.1
1Department of Plant Science and Environmental Ecology, Faculty of Resource Science and
Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak
2Forest Department Sarawak, Wisma Sumber Alam, Petra Jaya 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
E-mail: anarrin1993@yahoo.com
INTRODUCTION
Reforestation and effective soil conservation management is required to restore and manage
degraded forest land in tropics. Information regarding the soil characteristics in forest land is
essential as a guide in future reforestation programme. The differences in soil characteristics
are usually attributed to differences in environmental factors such as topography, runoff and
tree species planted which affect the soil genesis (Tamai, 2010). Hence, assessment of soil
characteristics such as soil morphological properties is important to determine the condition
of the soils in forest areas. Soil morphological on a given land can be determined by
observing the soil profile of the different soil horizon. During in-situ observation, the
interpretation of soil can show various soil attributes. In this study, assessment on the soil
morphological properties of reforested areas planted with different tree species of mono and
mixed species planting was conducted. Hence, obtaining the status of the soil condition in the
study area is essential in order to determine the suitability of the selected tree species and the
planting technique in order to achieve the most productive level in terms of its growth and
performance.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study was conducted at the reforestation sites of Gunung Apeng National Park, located
merely about 100 km away from Kuching city at Serian, Sarawak with the latitude and
longitude reading; (N00°55’24.7”, E110°38’32.2”). The climate varies in terms of annual
precipitation. The cover area reached about precipitation up to 100 mm monthly. This is due
to constant rainfall received in the study area (Department of Irrigation and Drainage, 2015).
The mean annual temperatures ranged varies between 23°C (73°F) in the early morning and
increases to about 33°C (91°F) during the afternoon. The soils in this study area were mostly
non-calcareous sedimentary rocks which consisted of whitish sandstone according to the
Sarawak Soil Classification system (Wasli et al, 2014). The evaluation of soil morphological
properties at the forest reserve of the study area was conducted in reforestation sites with
various planting techniques. Three (3) study plots with the size of 50 m x 50 m were
established at the reforestation sites based on the different planting technique: mono
(MD2011) species site (planted with only Dryobalanops beccarii), mono (MS2011) species
site (planted with Shorea macrophylla.) and mixed (MX2011) species site (planted with both
D. beccarii , S. macrophylla and other indigenous trees). Soil pits of approximately 60 cm
depth were dug at the center of each study sites for soil profile description following the
standard procedures by International Soil Science Society (ISSS) (NRCS, 2002).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Soil Morphological Properties of Planted Mono and Mixed Species at National Park of
Gunung Apeng
In this study, information with interpretations regarding the soils and view of the observed
soil profile in the field area was shown in Table 1 and Figure 1 respectively. Based on the soil
profile description on all study sites, soil profiles showed the presence of sandy, clayey,
loamy and silty texture in the horizons. Hence, according to the Sarawak Soil Classification
Systems, the soils in this area were classified into Nyalau family of the Red-Yellow Podzolic
Soil group. According to the USDA Soil Taxonomy, podzolic soils are defined as
mineral soils which contain no calcareous material anywhere within the soil, have less than
10% weatherable minerals in the extreme top layer of soil, and have less than 35% base
saturation throughout the soil. Soils under this classification are generally acidic with poor
natural fertility in terms of low exchangeable bases (Teng, 2004). This soil corresponds to
great group of Paleudults based on the USDA classification system (Soil Survey Staff, 2006).
Such soil possesses udic moisture regime that is characterized by brown to red colors with
weak podzolic features. Soils of these features consist of friable to firm consistency, and
weakly to moderately developed structure (Wasli et al, 2014).
Soil parent material present in MD2011 consisted of few subangular fine gravel. Meanwhile,
no rock fragments were observed in MS2011 and MX2011, respectively. The presence of
subangular fine gravel fragments of the soils observed in MD2011 may lead to the increase in
soil hardness in the study area. The soil hardness in MD2011 was noted slightly higher
compared to MS2011 and MX2011 study plots. The results of the study showed that the soils
in plot MD2011 were observed as loamy sand in texture. Meanwhile, the presence of clay
materials was only observed in study plot s of MS2011 and MX2011. Although soils under
this classification are rated as marginally suitable for any plantation activities, the capability
of the soils in accommodating wide range of tropical crops such as rubber and fruit trees can
be improved if implemented under careful land management practices. Based on our field
observation, podzolic soils are suitable for the development of trees such as D. beccarrii and
S. macrophylla in reforestation area as the growth performance of planted trees in all study
site shown grow relatively well and healthy.
Figure 1: Image of soil pit for soil profile description in the study sites: MD2011 plot,
MS2011 plot and MX2011 plot
Table 1: Summary of Morphological Properties of the Soils in Gunung Apeng National Park
Abbrevations;Texturea): SCL:Sandy Clay Loam, CL: Clay Loam, SC: Sandy clay, LS: Loamy sand; Structureb): w: weak, m: medium, sb: Subangular blocky;
Consistencyc: ss: slightly sticky, s: sticky, sp: slightly plastic, p: plastic, np: non-plastic; Rootsd): c: course, m: medium, f: fine, vf: very fine; Boundarye): c:
clear, w: wavy, g: gradual, d: diffuse, s:smooth; Rock Fragmentf): f:few, shape: sa:Subangular, fg: Fine gravel, Mottlingg): n: none, Hardnessh) was measured
using a Yamanaka- Push Cone type penetrometer. Value in parameters refers to GPS reading and slope.
Plot
Horizon
Depth
(cm)
Colour
Consistencyc)
Roots
d)
Rock
Fragment
f)
Mottlingg)
Hardness
(mm)h)
MX2011
(N00°55’54.3’ E110°38.207’, 37°)
O
0-4
Litterfall
A
4-17
10YR4/3
ss/sp
c-m/f
n
n
12
EA
17-31
2.5Y6/3
s/p
c-m/f
n
n
15
EB
31-56
2.5Y7/3
s/p
m-f/f
n
n
17
BC
56-80
2.5Y8/4
s/p
Vf/vf
n
n
17
MD2011
(N00°55’40.9’ E110°38.280’35°)
O
0-3
Litterfall
A
3-12
10YR4/3
ss/sp
c/f
n
n
12
B1
12-45
10YR6/6
s/p
f/f
n
n
17
BC
45-80
10YR7/8
s/p
n
f/sa/fg
n
18
MS2011
(N00°55’41.4’ E110°38.809’,28°)
O
0-2
n
n
E
2-19
10YR3/2
ss/sp
c-f/fm
n
n
13
E1
19-56
2.5Y6/2
ss/sp
c-f/f-c
n
n
15
E2
56-80
2.5Y7/3
ss/np
n
n
n
16
CONCLUSION
The information regarding soils on mono and mixed species planting sites are crucial to know
the suitability of the site for reforestation activities. The findings of this study indicated that
based on the soil morphological properties, the soils in this study area were classified under
sandy clay loam, clay loam and loamy sand texture in the horizon of the soil profiles and
under Sarawak Soil Classification Systems, the soils in this area were classified into Nyalau
family of the Red-Yellow Podzolic Soil group. Although this soil type was generally poor in
natural fertility due to high acidity, the planted species of D. beccarii and S. macrophylla can
grow well in such soil type with respect to other environmental conditions.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to express our gratitude to the Director and staff of the Forest Department, Sarawak
for their supportive assistance and companionship during the duration of this study. This
research was financially supported by the research grant from Fundamental Research Grant
Scheme (FRGS (E14099/F07/69/989/2013(30)) from Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia,
Grant-in-Aid for scientific research purpose by the Japan-Malaysia Association (JMA) and
NPO Rainforest Sarawak. during the research at Gunung Apeng Forest Reserve. This
research was financially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Purposes by
Japan-Malaysia Association (JMA).
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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015). Land Use, Land-Use Change and
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Reforestation of degraded areas in Sarawak, Malaysia is vital in an effort to conserve the dynamic forest resources in Borneo. A preliminary assessment was conducted in providing the information on the growth performance and survival rate of planted indigenous Dipterocarp species (Dryobalanops beccarii Dyer) for reforestation purpose in Sarawak. In this study, reforestation areas which were planted with Dryobalanops beccarii under line planting technique were selected. Study sites were established in the reforestation areas (areas planted with D. beccarii in the year 2005; DB05 and 2008; DB08). The assessment on the growth performance of planted D. beccarii at different age stand was evaluated by measuring the stem diameter, height and survival rate from October 2010 to December 2012. Our findings showed that the survival rate of planted trees in DB05 and DB08 were at 88% and 86%, respectively. For the tree height and stem diameter, the results showed that the tree height and stem diameter in DB05 was 4.9 m and 3.6 cm, respectively. Meanwhile, the assessment on the tree height and stem diameter in DB08 was 1.9 m and 0.9 cm, respectively. The mean annual increment in height (MAIH) and diameter (MAID) of planted D. beccarii in DB05 was significantly higher than DB08. High survival rate and substantial growth performance of D. beccarii indicated that site edaphic condition such as competition between planted and existing pioneer species of the study area may have affected the survival rate and growth performance of planted D. beccarii. Therefore, further studies are required in order to find out the soil-plant relationship of D. beccarii as well as other edaphic factors which may affect the growth and survival of D. beccarii under line planting technique.
Article
This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on the ecology of non-timber resources and outlines a series of management recommendations for their sustainable harvest. The discussion is divided into four chapters. Chapter I summarizes the basic characteristics of tropical plant populations that limit the nature and intensity of resource exploitation. Chapter II discusses the potential long-term ecological impacts resulting from the selective harvest of different plant tissues. Chapter III outlines the basic inventory and yield data needed to develop a program of sustainable resource use. Chapter IV provides an overview of conventional and indigenous forms of forest management and proposes a general sequence of silvicultural operations for enhancing the regeneration, growth, and productivity of different non-timber forest resources.
Management of tropical plantation-forests and their soil-litter system
  • M V Reddy
Reddy, M.V. (2002). Management of tropical plantation-forests and their soil-litter system. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers.
Keys to Soil Classification of Sarawak. Agriculture Department of Sarawak
  • S C Teng
Teng, S. C. (2004). Keys to Soil Classification of Sarawak. Agriculture Department of Sarawak, 68 pp.