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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 82 - 87

Application of Geostatistical Tools to Quantify Spatial Variability of Selected Soil Chemical Properties from a Cultivated Tropical Peat

S.K. Balasundram, M.H.A. Husni and O.H. Ahmed    

Abstract: Quantification of spatial variability is a vital prerequisite for precision agriculture. This study was aimed at quantifying the spatial variability of selected chemical properties in a tropical peat cultivated with pineapple. A 1-ha study plot was established in a commercial pineapple plantation in Simpang Rengam, Johor. Georeferenced topsoil samples (n = 60) were obtained systematically from 8x18 m spacings in the x and y direction, respectively. These samples were tested for total C, extractable P, K, Cu, Zn and B. Soil data were first explored using univariate statistics, including normality check, non-spatial outlier detection and data transformation. This was followed by variography and kriging analyses to quantify the spatial variability of chemical properties. Results revealed a high degree of spatial variability in the majority of chemical properties, which exhibited non-normal distributions with CVs ranging from 12 to 54%. All properties exhibited a definable spatial structure, which were described by either spherical or exponential models. Carbon, P and B showed strong spatial dependence. The majority of properties had a short effective range. Surface maps of chemical properties clearly showed spatial clustering of test values. Excepting K, all other properties showed acceptable accuracy of interpolated values. These combined data suggest the need for a site-specific approach in managing tropical peat cultivated with pineapple, particularly with regard to nutrient management.

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