The magnitude of changes in soil attributes can be used to identify the effects of natural or anthropogenic interference on forest fragments. The objective of this work was to evaluate the chemical attributes of the soil as indicators of the edge effect at a Seasonal Semi-deciduous Forest fragment in the Southwest of Bahia, Brazil. Four sampling ranges were defined in the forest fragment (Range 1: 0-10m; Range 2: 40-50 m; Range 3: 80-90 m; and Range 4: 400-410 m from the edge). A degraded native pasture area was used as the reference. Soil samples were collected at depths of 0-5, 5-10 and 10-20 cm. The samples were analyzed for pH and organic matter, P, K, Ca, Mg and Al. The superficial layer of the soil was sensitive to the changes imposed by the fragmentation, reflecting modifications in some of its chemical attributes up to a distance of 90 m from the edge towards the interior of the fragment, with more severe effects in the first 10 meters. Soil organic matter, potential acidity, CEC and pH were the most affected attributes, evidencing a gradient of variation in the edge-interior direction.
Soil fertility; Organic matter; Atlantic forest