Spatial variability of some soil properties varies in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) plantations of west coastal area of India
Abstract. Mapping spatial variability of soil properties is the key to efficient soil resource management for sustainable crop yield. Therefore, the present study was conducted to assess the spatial variability of soil properties such as acidity (pH), salinity (electrical conductivity (EC)), organic carbon, available K, available P, exchangeable Ca2+, exchangeable Mg2+, available S and hot water soluble B in surface (0–20 cm) and subsurface (20–40 cm) soil layers of oil palm plantations in south Goa district of Goa located in west coastal area of India. A total of 128 soil samples were collected from 64 oil palm plantations of Goa located at an approximate interval of 1–2 km and analyzed. Soil was acidic to neutral in reaction. Other soil properties varied widely in both the soil layers. Correlations between soil pH and exchangeable Ca2+, between soil EC and available K, between available P and available S and between exchangeable Ca2+ and exchangeable Mg2+ in both the soil layers were found to be positive and significant (P < 0.01). Geostatistical analysis revealed a varied spatial distribution pattern for the measured soil properties. Best-fit models for measured soil properties were exponential, Gaussian, stable, K-Bessel and spherical with moderate to strong spatial dependency. The results revealed that site-specific fertilizer management options needed to be adopted in the oil palm plantations of the study area owing to variability in soil properties.