Journal article Open Access

Roles of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) on Sandy Loam Soil pH, Organic Matter, Bulk Density, Water-Holding Capacity and Carbon Stock Under Humid Lowland Tropical Climatic Conditions

Michael, Patrick S.

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    <subfield code="a">Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.), sandy loam soil, pH, bulk density, SOC, water-holding capacity, carbon stock</subfield>
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    <subfield code="c">33 - 45</subfield>
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    <subfield code="p">Bulgarian Journal of Soil Science</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Department of Agriculture, PNG University of Technology PMB, LAE, MP 411, Papua New Guinea.</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Michael, Patrick S.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Roles of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) on Sandy Loam Soil pH, Organic Matter, Bulk Density, Water-Holding Capacity and Carbon Stock Under Humid Lowland Tropical Climatic Conditions</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala Lam.) trees planted in alley cropping or established&lt;br&gt;
on fallowed farms by natural means contribute significantly to soil health and productivity by&lt;br&gt;
influencing various soil properties. In this study, the effects of L. leucocephala (Lam.) on&lt;br&gt;
sandy loam soil pH, organic matter content, bulk density, water-holding capacity and carbon&lt;br&gt;
stock were investigated under humid lowland tropical climatic conditions in Papua New&lt;br&gt;
Guinea (PNG). Soil samples were collected from 60 cm deep piths dug out from 1 m and 2 m&lt;br&gt;
away from the base of the legume trees. The control soil samples were collected from&lt;br&gt;
adjacent grassland dominated by Imperata cylindrica (L.), 10 m away from the legume trees.&lt;br&gt;
In all the piths, soil samples were collected from the 0-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm profiles. The&lt;br&gt;
results showed presence of the legume trees acidifies the soil (lowers pH), lowers surface soil&lt;br&gt;
organic carbon, improves the water holding capacity within the surface soils and helps&lt;br&gt;
improve bulk density, ideal for root growth. Comparatively there was more carbon in the&lt;br&gt;
surface soil of the grassland than under the legume trees. In most tropical regions, grasslands&lt;br&gt;
are often set a blaze for various land uses and the high carbon content is a potent source of&lt;br&gt;
CO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt; emission, contributing to the greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. The low&lt;br&gt;
carbon stock measured under the legume trees means reduced emission of CO&lt;sub&gt;2&lt;/sub&gt; when burnt&lt;br&gt;
and more benefits for the sandy loam soil. This study has implication for management of&lt;br&gt;
sandy loam soil using L. leucocephala (Lam.) under humid lowland tropical climatic soil&lt;br&gt;
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