Isaac Scientific Publishing

Environmental Pollution and Protection

Distribution of Nutrients in the Soils of a Unique Tropical Agroecosystem

Download PDF (465.9 KB) PP. 56 - 65 Pub. Date: June 27, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/epp.2017.22003


  • Thafna K.K.
  • Navya C.
  • Binish M.B.
  • Gopikrishna V.G.
  • Mahesh Mohan*
    School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam


Kuttanad agroecosystem, once the rice bowl of Kerala, is facing a serious threat from human activities. The present study assessed the nutrient status of Kuttanad paddy soils and the spatial distribution of Nutrients using GIS technique. 117 soil samples were collected from the six agroecological zones of Kuttanad. Out of the 117, 92 were from paddy fields and 25 were from canals. The soil samples were analyzed for pH, organic Carbon (%), available nitrogen (kg/ha), available phosphorous (kg/ha) and available potassium (kg/ha). The spatial distribution of nutrients showed that high available nitrogen content was observed at various parts of the Kuttanad agroecosystem except Vaikom Kari, northern part of North Kuttanad and western part of Kayal Lands. A cluster of area including southeast region of Lower Kuttanad, northern part of Purakkad Kari and north east regions of Upper Kuttanad as well as north east part of Vaikom Kari has showed the highest concentration of phosphorous. High intensity of potassium was observed in the central portion of Kayal Lands, North Kuttanad, northeast and southeast regions of Purakkad Kari and Lower Kuttanad respectively. It can conclude that monsoon flooding has a major role in the regulation of nutrients in the Kuttanad paddy fields. N and P are taken away from the soil by the inundated water whereas potassium is deposited in these areas. The high concentration of nutrients observed at the sites which are having more than one time cultivation and also watering and dewatering has a significant role in regulating the nutrient status of the Kuttanad agricultural wetland ecosystem.


Agroecosystem, Kuttanad, monsoon flooding, nutrient distribution, one time cultivation


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