Influence of Tea Cultivation on Soil Characteristics with Special Reference to Potassium
Soil samples were collected from tea a cultivated area and a nearby forest at various depths and analyzed for physico-chemical characteristics and different forms of Potassium (K) to find out the influence of cultivation practices on nutrient availability. The Organic Matter (OM) content decreased with an increase in soil depth. Nitrate nitrogen, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), water soluble, exchangeable and available K content estimated in cultivated soils decreased with an increase in soil depth. Ammonium nitrogen and organic matter content were higher in cultivated soils than in forest soils at any given depth. In the case of forest soils, lattice and total K increased with increase in depth up to 175 cm. Water soluble and exchangeable potassium of both soils had a positive and significant correlation with available K and cation exchange capacity, while forest soils had negative correlation with lattice, available and total K. There was a linear relationship for non-exchangeable and lattice K content with total K in the case of soils collected from cultivated area.
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