Author(s): Mehta, V.K.; Sullivan, P.J.; Walter, M.T.; Krishnaswamy, L.; DeGloria, S.D.
In: Ecohydrology 1:2, 161-175
Type: Journal article
Link to SEI author(s):
Impacts of disturbance on soil properties in a dry tropical forest in southern India
This article describes a study of the effects of human forest use on ecosystem functions in Bandipur National Park (BNP) in Peninsular India, focusing on impacts on surface soils. The study found negative impacts on soil nutrient availability, available water capacity and saturated moisture content.
Off trails, high spatial variability in infiltration overwhelmed any meaningful trends with disturbance. However, infiltration was substantially reduced on trails as a result of significant increase in bulk density. The density of trails was considerably higher in degraded watersheds compared to protected watersheds.
These results provide evidence that forest disturbance within the Park has negative impacts on soil organic matter, nutrient availability and hydraulic characteristics, with consequences for related ecological, nutrient cycling and hydrological processes, and for the continuation services currently enjoyed by local human populations.
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