Physico-chemical characteristics of the soils of open scrub areas of Dachigam national park, Kashmir

Author(s): Arif Yaqoob, Mohammad Younus, G.A.Bhat, Mohammad Saleem

Physico-chemical analysis was carried out on the soils of open scrub areas of DachigamNational park, Kashmir fromwinter 2010 to autumn 2010, at four sites with variations in vegetation covers and biotic stresses. The following soil characteristicswere examined: temperature,moisture, organic carbon, pH, conductivity, total nitrogen, total potassium, and total phosphorus. The moisture content was found to be directly related to the vegetation cover with the highest value at protected (PS) site and lowest percentage at quarry (QS) Site followed by village (VS) site and farm(FS) site which were more affected by anthroprogenic pressures and hence less vegetation cover and probably more evaporation of soil moisture from the exposed site. The soils of all sites were slightly acidic in character with a fair amount of organic matter at protected site followed by farmsite where controlled grazing and browsing takes place and reduced amount of organic matter at quarry site and village site probably due to overgrazing and overexploitation which causes much removal of vegetation cover by the grazers and local people. The values of major nutrients such as total NPK showed a gradual decrease from summer to winter except at protected site probably due to an increased vegetation cover and a fair amount of organic matter.

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