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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657

Abstract

SOUZA, Rômulo Vinícius Cordeiro Conceição de et al. Soil characterization along a climatic gradient in the triunfo mountain range, semi-arid region of pernambuco state, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.4, pp.1259-1270. ISSN 1806-9657.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832010000400024.

Highland forests in mountains of Northeast Brazil are islands of humid Atlantic forest in the midst of the semi-arid region. The climatic conditions are rather atypical, improved by the occurrence of orographic rainfall, which can reach 1,200 mm per year. In the state of Pernambuco, most of the scientific studies in these humid highland forests are focused on botanical and zoological aspects only, with very little information about soils. Aiming to study the soils of the humid mountains in the semi-arid region and to evaluate the influence of the various soil-forming factors on formation and evolution, three soil profiles were characterized for morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties in the Triunfo mountain range, at different altitude levels. The soil profiles were located in the municipalities of Serra Talhada (P1), Santa Cruz da Baixa Verde (P2) and Triunfo (P3), along a moisture and altitude gradient (topo-climatic sequence). The soils were morphologically similar, due to the low development degree, mainly in the soil profiles P3 (Triunfo) and P2 (Santa Cruz), classified, respectively, as Oxic Haplustept and Typic Haplustept. In the lower part of profile P1 (Serra Tallhada), a low clay content and greater textural gradient classified the soil as Typic Haplustult. The results showed that all studied soils were developed from syenitic rocks, with influence of sediments from the upper part of the relief. The development degree of the soil of Triunfo, with the highest rainfall levels, was higher than of the others. Climate, acting mainly by the variation in moisture, was however not the only soil forming factor responsible for soil differentiation along the sequence, but parent material and relief were important as well.

Keywords : inceptisols; humid highland forest; pedogenesis; iron oxides.

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