Spatial Variability of Paddy Fields Soil Fertility in Southern Part of Foumanat Plain, Iran

A comprehensive assessment of agricultural soils quality is essential for making wise decision that leads to sustainable production and environmental preservation. Many studies have shown that soil quality index, based on a combination of soil characteristics, can describe soil conditions better than individual soil characteristics. In this study, to evaluate the soil quality, first, a minimum data set was made by using the principal component analysis. Then, quantitative characteristics of the soil were quantified through scoring. Finally, by weighting each attribute (through the principal component analysis), soil quality index (SQI) was obtained and converted to map by GIS software. The results showed that most of the soils (97% of soil samples) had electrical conductivity less than 2 dS/m and they were in the group of natural soils without limitation. Most of the studied paddy soils had a good pH and no special limitation. The average of available phosphorus concentration was more than the critical level (12 mg/kg) because of the presence of a number of high concentration samples, while there was a poor phosphorous situation in more than 50% of the region. Nearly 76 percent of the studied regions had total nitrogen higher than 0.2 percent, which indicated the relative adequacy of this nutrient element in most of the land. The concentration of available potassium in most of the studied areas was less than the critical level. Mapping of the soil quality index showed that some paddy fields had poor fertility quality because of the limitation of soil intrinsic and static properties such as clay, organic carbon, and cation exchange capacity. However, most of the studied lands had moderate fertility quality and the most important limiting factor was the shortage of available phosphorus and potassium, while the use of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers was low in this area.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Journal of Soil Research, Volume:33 Issue:2, 2019
141 - 154  
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