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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


CUNHA, Tony Jarbas Ferreira et al. Soil organic matter and fertility of anthropogenic dark earths (Terra Preta de Índio) in the Brazilian Amazon basin. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.1, pp.85-93. ISSN 1806-9657.

Fertility properties, total C (Ctot), and chemical soil organic matter fractions (fulvic acid fraction - FA, humic acid fraction - HA, humin fraction - H) of anthropogenic dark earths (Terra Preta de Índio) of the Amazon basin were compared with those of Ferralsols with no anthropogenic A horizon. Terra Preta soils had a higher fertility (pH: 5.1-5.4; Sum of bases, SB: 8.93-10.33 cmolc kg-1 , CEC: 17.2-17.5 cmolc kg-1 , V: 51-59 %, P: 116-291 mg kg-1) and Ctot (44.6-44.7 g kg-1) than adjacent Ferralsols (pH: 4.4; SB: 2.04 cmolc kg-1, CEC: 9.5 cmolc kg-1, V: 21 %, P 5 mg kg-1, C: 37.9 g kg-1). The C distribution among humic substance fractions (FA, HA, H) in Terra Preta soils was also different, as shown by the ratios HA:FA and EA/H (EA=HA+FA) (2.1-3.0 and 1.06-1.08 for Terra Preta and 1.2 and 0.72 for Ferralsols, respectively). While the cation exchange capacity (CEC), of Ferralsols correlated with FA (r = 0.97), the CEC of Terra Preta correlated with H (r = 0.82). The correlation of the fertility of Terra Preta with the highly stable soil organic matter fraction (H) is highly significant for the development of sustainable soil fertility management models in tropical ecosystems.

Keywords : humic substances; humin fraction; cation exchange capacity; total soil carbon.

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