The effect of two practices adopted by settlers (abandoned pasture and fallow land) on soil fertility of two deforested Amazonian regions (Belém-Pará and Ariquemes-Rondônia) was studied. Whenever possible, cultivated pasture, over similar time periods in both cases and in natural forest, were employed as soil fertility reference standards. Nutrient dynamics was studied using the electroultra-filtration technique. In general, deforestation, as practiced in these areas, has a degrading effect on soil fertility. The effect of burning normally leads to a pH rise caused by ash. This usually yields a favorable transitory effect, improving soil fertility conditions, however not sufficient for plant needs, as inferred from the low P and K levels. Cattle excrements, improved the K level for cultivated pastures. Qualitative differences related to N were observed between cultivated pasture and both, fallow land or abandoned pasture. In the first, a certain recovery of available N levels was detected, mainly affecting the EUF-Norg fraction. On the other hand, a regeneration of organic compounds, in the fallow land and the abandoned pasture, closely related to those existing in the natural forest, was verified. This is mainly due to the presence of a higher proportion of NO3-_N and, consequently, a EUF-Norg/EUF-NO3- ratio close to 1.
deforestation; fallow land; abandoned pasture