Soil quality in volcanic soils in a forest biosphere reserve in Mexico

https://doi.org/10.17221/108/2020-SWR
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Forest soils respond dramatically to management changes compared to other soils influenced by different land-use forms. This work aimed to compare the soil conditions in four different zones in a temperate forest in a biosphere reserve in Mexico, using a minimum data set (MDS) based on volcanic soils properties to develop a soil quality index (SQI). For this purpose, two different MDSs were used, one obtained from an expert opinion and the other through a multivariate principal component analysis (PCA). The soil quality assessment was conducted in a biosphere reserve in Mexico, where volcanic soils predominate. Four different areas were studied. Overall, six different types of SQI were calculated for each area, for which linear and nonlinear functions were used and the additive and weighted method. The six SQI showed a significant difference between the four areas of study. The zone with the highest SQI values was the zone with a preserved pine forest, followed by the zone with a pine forest managed by the population, and the zones with a pine forest and grassland in recovery showed the lowest SQI. The linear score indices obtained by the PCA indicated the better ability to differentiate the calculated SQI values, which would provide information to contribute to the stakeholder management and decision making in the protection, conservation and management of the ecosystems present in the biosphere reserve.

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