Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BSFNRRA), along the border of Tennessee and into Kentucky, is located on the Upper Cumberland Plateau, and is primarily dominated by soils developed from acidic sandstone and shale of Pennsylvanian-age. Due to the remoteness of the BSFNRRA, there is currently limited data available on soil fertility. The objective of this study was to determine baseline soil fertility in the BSFNRRA through chemical analysis. Seven soil profiles representative of the different geology and landforms found throughout the park were analyzed for chemical properties to determine fertility status. A Mehlich I extraction and total elemental analysis were conducted. These data were compared to geologic formations and landscape positions within the BSFNRRA park boundaries. After comparisons were made, an assesment of soil fertility variations were made. From the data, soils examined from upland positions have the lowest available P ranging from 1-5.6 mg kg-1, and the soils were classified as two Dystrudepts and one Hapludult. Soils examined on backslopes had P values ranging from 9-11 mg kg-1 and these soils were classified as one Hapludalf and one Dystrudept. The footslope and floodplain soils had available P values from 15.25- 19.78 mg kg-1 and these soils were classified as a Hapludult and Dystrudept, respectively. Landscape position and parent material play major roles in the formation of soils, and their degree of weathering controls the amount of plant available nutrients. These data can then be used for an interpolation of the fertility status of the BSFNRRA based on geology and landscape position.