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Soil properties influenced by some important edible bamboo species in the North Eastern Himalayan region, India

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Soil profile samples collected from 11 different locations of edible bamboo growing areas in the Meghalaya and Manipur states of the North Eastern Himalayan (NEH) region of India were analysed to study the effect of different bamboo species on soil properties. The clump density was noticed highest in Teinostachyum wightii, followed by Melocanna baccifera. The highest number of culms per clump has also been recorded in M. baccifera. The highest average culm height and diameter, however, was recorded in Bambusa balcooa. All the bamboo species showed varying effects on soil properties. The highest increase in soil pH was observed in Dendrocalamus giganteus, followed by D. hookerii. Organic carbon increased in soils under all the species of bamboo. The highest increase of available N content was recorded in B. multiplex (126.5 kg/ha), followed by D. giganteus (94.0 kg/ha). The maximum build-up of exchangeable Ca + Mg was found in D. giganteus and D. hookerii. There was a reduction in available P in most of the species, the maximum being in D. hamiltonii (4.4 kg P/ha), followed by B. multiplex (3.9 kg/ha). The highest increase of available K was observed in D. hookerii (207.2 kg/ha), followed by B. multiplex. On average, D. giganteus, D. hookerii and B. nutans were found to be the better species for restoring soil fertility status in humid tropics of the NEH region, India.


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