Comparative evaluation of physical properties in soils of orange orchard and bushy forest in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Banglandesh


The physical properties of soil on two hill slopes of 35% and 55% in orange orchard cultivated by the Mro tribe of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) were evaluated and compared with those of bushy hill forests. Soil samples were collected from three different depths (0–5 cm, 5–15 cm and 15–30 cm), digging three profiles in each land use for determining moisture content, organic matter content and particle density. Maximum water holding capacity, field capacity, dry and moist bulk density and porosity were determined only for the surface soils. Moisture content at all the soil depths was significantly higher (p $łeq$ 0.05) in orange orchard than in forest on both the slopes. Orange orchard contained lower mean soil organic matter than forest on 55% slope, while it contained higher values on 35% slope compared to forest. The highest value of the above two properties was found at surface soil in both the land uses on both the slopes, decreasing with the increase of soil depth. On both the slopes maximum water holding capacity and porosity of surface soil and particle density at all soil depths were lower in orange orchard compared to those in forest. Field capacity values of surface soil did not show consistency in trend for the differences between the two land uses on both the slopes. Bulk density value of moist and dry surface soil was higher in orange orchard than in forest on both the hill slopes.

Journal of Forestry Research