Sustainable Forest Management Soil Science

Soil Science

Soils provide anchorage, hold water plus air and supply nutrients to plants. Studies on the nature and properties of soils are therefore essential for understanding soil-vegetation interactions in forest ecosystems. The Division of Soil Science, established in December 1976 has undertaken several problem-oriented projects in following areas:
  • Taungya in relation to properties, erosion and management of soils
  • Studies on the nature and properties of soils in plantations across Kerala
  • Effect of monoculture on soils
  • Influence of site factors in plantations of various species
  • Protocols for Foliar analysis to assess soil test methods for NPK
  • Land degradation and restoration in the human impacted landscapes
The Division has also undertaken studies of an advisory nature for the Kerala Forest Department by answering queries on various aspects based on field investigations. These investigations will generate soil database useful in forest management.

Ongoing Research Projects

  1. Establishment of a soil museum at KFRI
  2. Quality improvement of organic manures for reducing soil health hazards
  3. Effect of crop rotation with short duration tree crops on the nutrient status of soil in clear felled teak plantation sites
  4. Analysis of soil samples from kanor tree crops and agroforestry systems of Thrissur District, Kerala
  5. Soil organic carbon pool and its dynamics in the managed teak plantations of Kerala Western Ghats
  6. Introducing biochar for enhancing the quality of degraded soils of plantation forestry sector in Kerala.
  7. Popularisation of weed composting technology for soil carbon requestiation and livelihood improvement of rural poor.
  8. Pedogenic influences on vegetation dynamics in major forested wetlands of Kerala Western Ghats

Ongoing Extension Projects

  1. Maintenance of Dalbergia plot established under DBT network project at Nilambur and Velupadam
  2. Analysis of soil samples from major tree crops and agro-forestry systems Kerala – 2nd Phase.
  3. Land Management Practice and Rural Livelihood: A study on Agroecosystems of Selected Tribal Hamlets in Attapady.
  4. Effect of fire on soil properties and loss of nutrients in Wayanad forests.
  5. Analysis of various micro and macro nutrients in soil samples as a part of crop health management.

Contact: Dr. MP Sujatha
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
Tel: +91-487-2690385
e-mail: soilscience@kfri.res.in