Methods to Study Pedology and Edaphology of Indian Tropical Soils: An Overview

  • D. K. Pal


The major tropical soils of India are Vertisols, Mollisols, Alfisols, Ultisols, Aridisols, Inceptisols and Entisols. Thus, India has the large variety of soils. These soils are not confined to a single production system and contribute enough to self-sufficiency in food production and food stocks of the Indian subcontinent. This could be achieved because of favourable natural endowment of soils, which remained highly responsive for the last several decades to management interventions advocated through National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS). In the initial years’ of soil research in India, much valuable work was done but the knowledge base was not enough to manage these soils to sustain their productivity. Soil knowledge base becomes critical when attempts are made to fill the gap between food production and future population growth. This demands that soil care needs to be a constant research agenda in the Indian context. In responding to such national need, research endeavour during the last few decades on the benchmark soils by the Indian pedologists and earth scientists has been commendable when the focus of soil research changed qualitatively due to the use of high resolution mineralogical, micromorphological and age-control tools along with the geomorphic and climatic history. This change in focus resulted in acquiring new knowledge on basic and fundamental aspects on major soil types of the country, which provided unique guiding principles to develop several simple diagnostic analytical methods to identify the important pedogenic processes, mineral transformation, taxonomic rationale and solving some of their queer edaphological issues. The worthiness of use of simple methods are demonstrated in the following few chapters. It is hoped that the adaptation of the simple methods will facilitate an early completion of the long standing national robust national soil information system.


Indian tropical soils Study of pedology and edaphology Simple methods 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. K. Pal
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-NBSS&LUPNagpurIndia

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