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Soils of the Rain Forest in Central Guyana

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Authors: Kekem, A.J. van, Pulles, J.H.M. and Khan, Z.

Guyana - 1997

ISBN: 90-393-1159-5

ISSN: 1566-6506

Language: English

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This book reports the results of the land resources inventory carried out during 1992-1993 in the Mabura-Kurupukari area of Central Guyana, the site of the Tropenbos-Guyana Programme. The entire area lies within a logging concession, and this survey was designed to provide baseline data for the research programme carried out at the site, and as an important basis of sound land-use planning. The study consists of a detailed analysis of geology, geomorphology and, most importantly, soils of this 220,000 ha area. The physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of the soils are described, and one chapter addresses soil genesis and soil-landform relationships. The results of the soil inventory are visualised on a map (scale 1:100,000), with 26 mapping units. The map appears as an annex. The soils of the area have been divided into two main groups: - Shallow to deep, well drained, stony and gravely, loamy to clay-like soils on hills and dissected erosional plains, and - Deep, excessively drained white sand soils and deep, well drained brown loamy to clay-like soils dominating the dissected sedimentary plains (White Sands Plateau). An important finding of the study is that the soils in the area are, in general, strongly acid, with remarkably low levels of nutrient reserves. Most soils have high levels of aluminium saturation, which may be a problem for plant growth. These factors make these soils very sensitive to injudicious management.

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