Seasonal variation of rhizospheric soil properties under different land use systems at lower Shivalik foothills of Punjab, India

Abstract

The rhizosphere is the unique hotspot that is highly influenced by plant roots and characterized by higher microbial activity and nutrient availability. Land uses modify the rhizospheric soil properties through the stimulatory effects of various root exudates and soil nutrients. The present work was aimed to study rhizosphere soil properties under different land use systems at Ballowal Saunkhri watershed in Punjab state, India. For this study, soil samples were collected from three land use systems (horticulture, farm forest and cropland) at four depths, viz. 0–15, 15–30, 30–60 and 60–90 cm during pre-rainy and post-rainy seasons. The results indicated that farm forestry system had significantly higher soil organic carbon (SOC), cation exchange capacity, micronutrient cations (Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn) and microbial properties (total microbial count, microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, dehydrogenase activity, alkaline phosphatase activity and microbial quotient) compared with other land use systems. However, bulk density, available phosphorus, available potassium and metabolic quotient were observed higher under cropland system. The principle component analysis identified that SOC and available potassium were the most contributing and reliable variables for assessing soil quality for different land use systems.

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Neha, Bhople, B.S. & Sharma, S. Seasonal variation of rhizospheric soil properties under different land use systems at lower Shivalik foothills of Punjab, India. Agroforest Syst (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-020-00512-7

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Keywords

  • Rhizosphere
  • Land use systems
  • Sub-montane region
  • Shivalik foothills
  • Soil properties