Soils of the tropics
Nortcliff, S. (2010) Soils of the tropics. In: Dion, P. (ed.) Soil Biology and Agriculture in the Tropics. Soil Biology (21). Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg, pp. 1-15. ISBN 9783642050756
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-05076-3_1
The conditions for soil development in the lowland tropics are described, in particular the soil-forming factors, climate, parent material, topography and organisms, and their interactions through time. Of particular importance is the climate of the lowland tropics, which has a major influence on the nature of soil development because of high temperatures and the duration of the periods when the soil is moist. The nature of the parent material is also a major determinant of the nature of the soil. Because soil development has taken place in much of the tropics over long time periods, the soils have distinctive characteristics. Soil-forming processes are described briefly, in particular the nature of the weathering of the inorganic fraction of the soil, and the removal of soluble materials in leaching and the translocation of materials in suspension. Typical soils developed in the humid and seasonally moist tropics are briefly described, and comparisons made between the two most widely used international soil classifications, Soil Taxonomy and World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Some of the other soils found within the tropics are briefly described.