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Central Agricultural University, College of Post Graduate Studies in Agricultural Sciences, Umiam

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  • ThesisItemOpen Access
    Studies on fertility status and productivity potential of coalmine affected Soils and their adjoining areas of Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya
    (College of Post Graduate Studies in Agricultural Sciences, CAU-Imphal, Umiam, 2010) Malang, Akbar; Choudhury, B. U.
    Land throughout the ages has been the most precious assets for the existence of human civilization. In the present day competitive world for economic supremacy, industrial activities like mining for coal and other precious minerals in unscientific way is one of the potential causes of widespread degradation of productive land resources. Keeping in view the adverse consequences of widespread unscientific coal mining and land degradation vice versa, the present investigation was framed to study the effect of coal mining activities on soil properties and their agricultural productivity potential in the fragile ecosystem of Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya. Soil samples from different land uses of the three major coal belts (Bapung, Sutnga and Khliehriat) spread across Jaintia Hills were collected and analyzed for various properties related to production potential. Pot experiments on rice crop were also conducted to study the inherent production potential of coal mine affected soils. The study revealed that the soils were highly acidic in reaction. Soil pH ranged between 4.35 and 3.54. In coal mined soils, pH declined by almost a unit over non-mined soils. Decrease in soil pH resulted a significant increase (>60%) in exchange acidity and exchangeable aluminum content. Percent aluminum saturation was 15% higher while percent base saturation, exchangeable calcium and magnesium contents were 24% less in mined compared to non-mined soils. All the soils were sandy clay loam in texture and bulk density varied from 0.95 to 1.18 Mg m-3. However, mining on steep slopes encouraged detachment and deposition of silts in the valleys. Available P and K were low in mined soils and medium in non-mined soils. Soil organic carbon and available sulphur contents were 2-6 folds higher in mined soils as compared to non-mined soils. DTPA extractable Fe, Mn and Cu contents were significantly higher in mined soils, ranged from sufficient to high while Zn content was less (below critical range). Biomass yield of rice crop (at 45 days after sowing) in coal mined soils was also significantly low (> 60%) compared to non-mined soils. Correlation studies showed a strong negative correlation between biomass yield of rice and exchange acidity, exchangeable aluminium as well as percent aluminum saturation. However, comparative improvement in soil properties and crop performance demonstrated by abandoned mining sites suggest that if mining is abandoned for long duration, coal mine affected soils may recover its productivity to a great extent.
  • ThesisItemOpen Access
    Studies on fertility status and productivity potential of coalmine affected soils and their adjoining areas of Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya
    (CPGS , CAU (Imphal), Umiam, Meghalaya, 2010-03) Malang, Akbar; Choudhury, B. U.
    Land throughout the ages has been the most precious assets for the existence of human civilization. In the present day competitive world for economic supremacy, industrial activities like mining for coal and other precious minerals in unscientific way is one of the potential causes of widespread degradation of productive land resources. Keeping in view the adverse consequences of widespread unscientific coal mining and land degradation vice versa, the present investigation was framed to study the effect of coal mining activities on soil properties and their agricultural productivity potential in the fragile ecosystem of Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya. Soil samples from different land uses of the three major coal belts (Bapung, Sutnga and Khliehriat) spread across Jaintia Hills were collected and analyzed for various properties related to production potential. Pot experiments on rice crop were also conducted to study the inherent production potential of coalmine affected soils. The study revealed that the soils were highly acidic in reaction. Soil pH ranged between 4.35 and 3.54. In coal mined soils, pH declined by almost a unit over non-mined soils. Decrease in soil pH resulted a significant increase (>60%) in exchange acidity and exchangeable aluminium content. Percent aluminium saturation was 15% higher while percent base saturation, exchangeable calcium and magnesium contents were 24% less in mined compared to non-mined soils. All the soils were sandy clay loam in texture and bulk density varied from 0.95 to 1.18 Mg m-3. However, mining on steep slopes encouraged detachment and deposition of silts in the valleys. Available P and K were low in mined soils and medium in non-mined soils. Soil organic carbon and available sulphur contents were 2-6 folds higher in mined soils as compared to non-mined soils. DTPA extractable Fe, Mn and Cu contents were significantly higher in mined soils, ranged from sufficient to high while Zn content was less (below critical range). Biomass yield of rice crop (at 45 days after sowing) in coal mined soils was also significantly low (> 60%) compared to non-mined soils. Correlation studies showed a strong negative correlation between biomass yield of rice and exchange acidity, exchangeable aluminium as well as percent aluminium saturation. However, comparative improvement in soil properties and crop performance demonstrated by abandoned mining sites suggest that if mining is abandoned for long duration, coal mine affected soils may recover its productivity to a great extent.