Advertisement

Agroforestry systems improve soil physical quality in northwestern Colombian Amazon

  • Maurício Roberto Cherubin
  • Juan Pablo Chavarro-Bermeo
  • Adriana Marcela Silva-Olaya
Article

Abstract

Land use change is a global threat to soil quality and related ecosystem services. In Colombian Amazon, forest-cleared lands are predominantly covered by low-input and degraded pastures; but gradually, agroforestry systems (AFS) have been introduced as a sustainable alternative for soil reclamation and increasing land productivity. Although soil physical quality changes can be monitored by multiple indicators, the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) method has emerged as a straightforward, reliable and low-cost tool for assessing and monitoring the impacts of land uses and management agricultural practices on soil quality in different parts of the world. However, the VESS has never been tested in AFS and in Colombian soils. Thus, we conducted a pioneering assessment of soil physical quality in six typical land uses (i.e., forest, pasture and four AFS) using the VESS method in northwestern Colombian Amazon. The VESS assessment takes account characteristics of soil aggregate and biological activity (roots and macrofauna) to assign scores ranging from Sq 1 (good) to Sq 5 (poor physical quality). Moreover, quantitative soil indicators (i.e., bulk density, soil resistance to penetration, soil moisture and soil organic C) were evaluated to correlate with VESS scores. Soil physical changes induced by land use change were efficiently detected by VESS scores. The VESS scores were significantly correlated with key indicators of soil quality. Conversion from Amazon forest to low-input pasture intensively degraded soil physical quality (overall Sq 1.3 vs Sq 4.0). Nevertheless, the adoption of AFS improves soil physical quality (overall Sq 3.2, 2.8, 2.4 and 2.2) in areas previously occupied with pasture, indicating greater potential of soil reclamation under more diversified systems. This study shows that adopting AFS can be a strategy for recovering soil quality and reincorporating degraded lands into productive and sustainable production systems in Amazon regions, and the VESS method can be an useful tool to monitoring soil physical changes in these areas.

Keywords

Land use change VESS method Soil structure Soil organic C Quantitative soil physical attributes Soil quality 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the University of Amazon (Florencia, Caquetá, Colombia) for funding the MRC’s trip to Colombia and his expenses during the field and laboratory work.

References

  1. Arévalo-Gardini E, Canto M, Alegre J, Loli O, Julca A, Baligar V (2015) Changes in soil physical and chemical properties in long term improved natural and traditional agroforestry management systems of Cacao genotypes in Peruvian Amazon. PLoS ONE 10:e0132147CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Armenteras D, Rudas G, Rodriguez N, Sua S, Romero M (2006) Patterns and causes of deforestation in the Colombian Amazon. Ecol Indic 6:353–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Auler AC, Los Galetto S, Hennipman FS, Guntzel ED, Giarola NF, Fonseca AF (2017) Soil structural quality degradation by the increase in grazing intensity in integrated crop-livestock system. Bragantia 76:550–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ball BC, Batey T, Munkholm LJ (2007) Field assessment of soil structural quality: a development of the Peerlkamp test. Soil Use Manag 23:329–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ball BC, Guimarães RML, Cloy JM, Hargreaves PR, Shepherd TG, McKenzie BM (2017a) Visual soil evaluation: a summary of some applications and potential developments for agriculture. Soil Tillage Res 173:114–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ball BC, Hargreaves PR, Watson CA (2017b) A framework of connections between soil and people can help improve sustainability of the food system and soil functions. Ambio 47:269–283.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-017-0965-z CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Bucheli VJP, Bokelmann W (2017) Agroforestry systems for biodiversity and ecosystem services: the case of the Sibundoy Valley in the Colombian province of Putumayo. Int J Biodivers Sci Eco Serv Manag 13:380–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bünemann EK, Bongiorno G, Bai Z, Creamer RE, De Deyn G, de Goede R, Fleskens L, Geissen V, Kuyper TW, Mäder P, Pulleman M, Sukkel W, van Groenigen JW, Brussaard L (2018) Soil quality: a critical review. Soil Biol Biochem 120:105–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Celentano D, Rousseau GX, Engel VL, Zelarayán M, Oliveira EC, Araujo ACM, de Moura EG (2017) Degradation of riparian forest affects soil properties and ecosystem services provision in eastern Amazon of Brazil. Land Degrad Dev 28:482–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cherubin MR, Karlen DL, Franco ALC, Cerri CEP, Tormena CA, Cerri CC (2016a) A soil management assessment framework (SMAF) evaluation of Brazilian sugarcane expansion on soil quality. Soil Sci Soc Am J 80:215–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cherubin MR, Karlen DL, Franco ALC, Tormena CA, Cerri CEP, Davies CA, Cerri CC (2016b) Soil physical quality response to sugarcane expansion in Brazil. Geoderma 267:156–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cherubin MR, Franco ALC, Guimarães RML, Tormena CA, Cerri CEP, Karlen DL, Cerri CC (2017) Assessing soil structural quality under Brazilian sugarcane expansion areas using Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS). Soil Tillage Res 173:64–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coca-Castro A, Reymondin L, Bellfield H, Hyman G (2013) Land use status and trends in Amazonia. Report for Global Canopy Programme and International Center for Tropical Agriculture as part of the Amazonia Security Agenda project. 72 p. https://globalcanopy.org/publications/land-use-status-and-trends-amazonia. Accessed 3 Aug 2018
  14. Cui J, Askari MS, Holden NM (2014) Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure under grassland management. Soil Use Manag 30:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Stefano A, Jacobson MG (2017) Soil carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems: a meta-analysis. Agrofor Syst. 9: 285–299.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-017-0147-9 Google Scholar
  16. Drewry JJ (2006) Natural recovery of soil physical properties from treading damage of pastoral soils in New Zealand and Australia: a review. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:159–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Durigan MR, Cherubin MR, Carmargo PB, Ferreira JNF, Berenguer E, Gardner T, Barlow J, Dias CTD, Signor D, Oliveira Junior RC, Cerri CEP (2017) Soil organic matter responses to anthropogenic forest disturbance and land use change in eastern Brazilian Amazon. Sustainability 9:379.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su9030379 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emmet-Booth JP, Forristal PD, Fenton O, Ball BC, Holden MN (2016) A review of visual soil evaluation techniques for soil structure. Soil Use Manag 32:623–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emmet-Booth JP, Bondi G, Fenton O, Forristal PD, Jeuken E, Creamer RE, Holden MN (2018) GrassVESS: a modification of the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure method for grasslands. Soil Use Manag.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sum12396 Google Scholar
  20. Etter A, McAlpine C, Wilson K, Phinn S, Possingham H (2006) Regional patterns of agricultural land use and deforestation in Colombia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:369–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Franco ALC, Bartz MLC, Cherubin MR, Baretta D, Cerri CEP, Feigl BJ, Wall DH, Davies CA, Cerri CC (2016) Loss of soil (macro)fauna due to the expansion of Brazilian sugarcane acreage. Sci Total Environ 563–564:160–168CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Franco ALC, Cherubin MR, Cerri CEP, Guimarães RML, Cerri CC (2017) Relating the visual soil structure status and the abundance of soil engineering invertebrates across land use change. Soil Tillage Res 173:49–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fujisaki K, Perrin A-S, Desjardins T, Bernoux M, Balbino LC, Brossard M (2015) From forest to cropland and pasture systems: a critical review of soil organic carbon stocks changes in Amazonia. Glob Chang Biol 21:2773–2786CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Guimarães RML, Ball BC, Tormena CA (2011) Improvements in the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure. Soil Use Manag 27:395–403Google Scholar
  25. Guimarães RML, Ball BC, Tormena CA, Giarola NFB, da Silva AP (2013) Relating Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure to other physical properties in soils of contrasting texture and management. Soil Tillage Res 127:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Guimarães GP, Mendonça EDS, Passos RR, Andrade FV (2014) Soil aggregation and organic carbon of Oxisols under coffee in agroforestry systems. Rev Bras Cienc Solo 38:278–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guimarães RML, Lamandé M, Munkholm LJ, Ball BC, Keller T (2017a) Opportunities and future directions for visual soil evaluation methods in soil structure research. Soil Tillage Res 173:104–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Guimarães RML, Neves Junior AF, Silva WG, Rogers CD, Ball BC, Montes CR, Pereira BFF (2017b) The merits of the Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure method (VESS) for assessing soil physical quality in the remote, undeveloped regions of the Amazon basin. Soil Tillage Res 173:75–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Heanes DL (1984) Determination of total organic-C in soils by an improved chromic acid digestion and spectrophotometric procedure. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 15:1191–1213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lavelle P, Rodriguez N, Arguello O, Bernal J, Botero C, Chaparro P, Gomez Y, Gutierrez A, Hurtado MD, Loaiza S, Pullido SX, Rodriguez E, Sanabria C, Velasquez E, Fonte SJ (2014) Soil ecosystem services and land use in the rapidly changing Orinoco river basin of Colombia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 185:106–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lehmann A, Zheng W, Rillig MC (2017) Soil biota contributions to soil aggregation. Nat Ecol Evol 1:1828–1835CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller RP, Nair PKR (2006) Indigenous agroforestry systems in Amazonia: from prehistory to today. Agrofor Syst 66:151–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moncada MP, Gabriels D, Lobo D, Rey JC, Cornelis WM (2014) Visual field assessment of soil structural quality in tropical soils. Soil Tillage Res 139:8–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nair PKR (2011) Agroforestry systems and environmental quality: introduction. J Environ Qual 40:784–790CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Newell-Price JP, Whittingham MJ, Chambers BJ, Peel S (2013) Visual soil evaluation in relation to measured soil physical properties in a survey of grassland soil compaction in England and Wales. Soil Tillage Res 127:65–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Paustian K, Six J, Elliott ET, Hunt HW (2000) Management options for reducing CO2 emissions from agricultural soils. Biogeochemistry 48:147–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Robot E, Wiesmeier M, Schlüter S, Vogel H-J (2018) Soil structure as an indicator of soil functions: a review. Geoderma 314:122–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Silva GL, Lima HV, Campanha MM, Gilkes RJ, Oliveira TS (2011) Soil physical quality of Luvisols under agroforestry, natural vegetation and conventional crop management systems in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Geoderma 167:61–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sistema de Información Ambiental de Colombia - SIAC (2017) Estrategia integral de control a la deforestación: actualización de cifras de monitoreo de bosques de 2016. http://www.siac.gov.co/documents/670372/670943/Actualizacion_cifra_deforestacion_2016.pdf/5954009a-45e8-4a0b-883a-52703cb384de. Accessed 10 Dec 2017
  40. Six J, Bossuyt H, Degryze S, Denef K (2004) A history of research on the link between (micro)aggregates, soil biota, and soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Tillage Res 79:7–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Soil Survey Staff (2014) Keys to soil taxonomy, 12th edn. USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, p 360Google Scholar
  42. Somarriba E, Beer J, Alegre-Orihuela J, Andrade HJ, Cerda R, DeClerck F, Detlefsen G, Escalante M, Giraldo LA, Ibrahim M, Krishnamurthy L, Mosquera VEM, Mora-Degado JR, Orozco L, Scheelje M, Campos JJ (2012) Mainstreaming Agroforestry in Latin America. In: Nair P, Garrity D (eds) Agroforestry: the future of global land use. Adv. Agrofor. v9. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 429–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tisdall JM, Oades JM (1982) Organic matter and water-stable aggregates in soils. J Soil Sci 33:141–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tormena CA, Karlen DL, Logsdon S, Cherubin MR (2016) Visual soil structure effects of tillage and corn stover harvest in Iowa. Soil Sci Soc Am J 80:720–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tovar RAM, Basto LCR, Delgado PAM, Valencia WH (2017) Arboreal/arbustive component associated to livestock systems in San Vicente del Caguán municipality, Caquetá–Colombia American. J Plant Sci 8:3162–3173CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurício Roberto Cherubin
    • 1
  • Juan Pablo Chavarro-Bermeo
    • 2
  • Adriana Marcela Silva-Olaya
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of AgricultureUniversity of São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of AmazonFlorenciaColombia
  3. 3.Research Group – GAIA, Faculty of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of AmazonFlorenciaColombia

Personalised recommendations