Capability and quality assessment of rice growing hydric soils in majuli river island, assam, India
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The wetland soils in majuli island is a unique in maintaining rice ecology and geoenvironment in Brahmaputra valley of Assam due to increasing rate of bankline erosion in southern bank and expansion of channel bars on northern banks. These hydric soils in the subgroups of aquents and aquepts are saturated throughout year as assessed from depleted matrix with hue 10YR, 2.5Y and 5Y, chroma less than 2, stratified textures, neutral to slightly alkaline reaction, low cation exchange capacity and poor exchangeable base status. The assessment of land capability and soil quality for rice production in hydric soils was conducted on twenty four soil mapping units derived from reconnaissance soil survey done on 1:50000 scale. As per land capability assessment, these soils are good(classII) to fairly good(IV) for arable use with limitations of low fertility status, moderate to severe wetness and moderate to rapid permeability. The soil quality rating with multiple variable indicator transform(MVIT) technique of twenty hydric soil units in active and old floodplains was medium (35 to 65per cent) with six indicators(pH, organic carbon, base saturation, effective rooting depth , structure and texture) meeting the thresh hold value above 65 per cent. Thirty five per cent of total area is suitable for rice cultivation as against the current cropped area of 7.2 per cent with potassium and zinc deficiency. The determination of soil quality in relation to land capability was found useful to design best management practices for wetlands in the region that ensure sustainable land use.