Vertical Distribution of TOC, TN and Other Important Soil Attributes and Their Relationship in Alfisol and Entisol of West Bengal

Main Article Content

S. Rakesh
Abhas Kumar Sinha
Prabir Mukhopadhyay


A study to assess the profile distribution of important soil attributes in Alfisols and Entisols of West Bengal was conducted during 2016-17. Purposefully selected random sampling was carried out to collect the soils from different locations of two study sites, viz., Kalinagar (25º27'33.9"N, 88º19'10.2"E) from Malda district and Durganagar (26º09'62.7"N, 89º53'51.7"E) from Cooch Behar district of West Bengal at 0-15, 15-30, 30-45 and 45-60 cm depths. Understanding of vertical distribution of soil fertility indicators like soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) and other important properties in two different soil and climatic conditions will provide an insight regarding the behaviour of soil with the change in environmental conditions. Soil bulk density (BD), porosity, pH, SOC, TN, C:N ratio and texture were determined using standard laboratory procedures and computations. Obtained results were subjected to statistical analyses. Soils of Kalinagar sites were slightly acidic in nature while soils of Durganagar were neutral in nature. Kalinagar soils were silt clay loam in texture where Durganagar soils classified as loam to sandy loam. Soil BD values increased with depth in both Kalinagar (Alfisol) and Durganagar (Entisol). The porosity percentage progressively decreased with an increase in depth. Soils of Durganagar reported higher soil porosity at all the depths studied. An increase in soil pH with increasing depth was observed in both the sites. The mean total organic carbon (TOC) content recorded maximum in surface soil and its concentration decreased with the depth. Kalinagar soils observed 7.63% higher TOC (17.94 g kg-1) content than Durganagar (16.57 g kg-1) at surface depth (0-15 cm) and its accumulation at the lower depths was also maximum in former soil. Mean TN values were also found to decrease by increasing the depth. The accumulation of total nitrogen at the subsequent depths was relatively higher in Kalinagar than Durganagar. Increase in C:N ratio with increasing depth was noticed in Kalinagar site but the opposite trend was accorded in case of Durganagar. Accumulation of SOC and TN throughout the soil depth was found to be greater in Alfisol (Kalingar) due to higher clay and silt fractions as compared to Entisol (Durganagar). There was a significant positive relation of TOC with clay and silt (r = 0.285, p<0.05, r = 0.314, p<0.01, respectively) and of TN with clay and silt (r = 0.328, p<0.01, r = 0.262, p<0.05, respectively) irrespective of soil orders. Alfisols with high bulk density have a greater capacity to accumulate SOC and TN throughout the soil profile due to higher clay and silt fractions in comparison to Entisols with loose textural properties.

Alfisol, entisol, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, physicochemical properties, depth-wise distribution.

Article Details

How to Cite
Rakesh, S., Sinha, A. K., & Mukhopadhyay, P. (2020). Vertical Distribution of TOC, TN and Other Important Soil Attributes and Their Relationship in Alfisol and Entisol of West Bengal. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 10(1), 62-73.
Original Research Article


Nwachokor MA, Uzu FO, Molindo WA. Variations in physicochemical properties and productivity implications for four soils in the Derived Savannah of Southern Nigeria. Am-Euras J Agron. 2009;2(3):124-129.

Sarkar D, Shikha, Rakesh S, Ganguly S, Rakshit A. Management of increasing soil pollution in the ecosystem. Adv. Res. 2017;12(2):1-9.

Xu M, Li Q, Wilson G. Degradation of soil physicochemical quality by ephemeral gully erosion on sloping cropland of the hilly Loess Plateau, China. Soil Tillage Res. 2016;155:9-18.

Akpoveta OV, Osakwe SA, Okoh BE, Otuya BO. Physicochemical characteristics and levels of some heavy metals in soils around metal scrap dumps in some parts of delta state, Nigeria. J Appl Sci Environ Manag. 2010;14(4):57-60.

Kinyangi J. Soil health and soil quality: A review; 2007.

Gupta OP, Shukla RP. The composition and dynamics of associated plant communities of sal plantations. Trop. Ecol. 1991;32(2):296-309.

Kang GS, Beri V, Sidhu VS, Rupela OP. A new index to assess soil quality and sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems. Biol Fertil Soils. 2005;41:389-398.

Raphael JP, Calonegoa JC, Milori DMBP, Rosolem CA. Soil organic matter in crop rotations under no-till. Soil Tillage Res. 2016;155:45-53.

Schmidt MW, Torn MS, Abiven S, Dittmar T, Guggenberger G, Janssens IA, Kleber M, Kogel-Knabner I, Lehmann J, Manning DA, Nannipieri P, Rasse DP, Weiner S, Trumbore SE. Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property. Nature. 2011;478:49-56.

Kaiser M, Ellerbrock RH, Gerke HH. Cation exchange capacity and composition of soluble soil organic matter fractions. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 2008;72:1278-1285.

Bronick CJ, Lal R. Soil structure and management: A review. Geoderma. 2005; 124:3-22.

Hargreaves PR, Brookes PC, Ross GJS, Poulton PR. Evaluating soil microbial biomass carbon as an indicator of long-term environmental change. Soil Biol Biochem. 2003;35:401-407.

Balota EL, Colozzi-Filho A, Andrade DS, Dick RP. Microbial biomass in soils under different tillage and crop rotation systems. Biol Fertil Soils. 2003;38:15-20.

Mooshammer M, Wanek W, Hämmerle I, Fuchslueger L, Hofhansl F, Knoltsch A, Schnecker J, Takriti M, Watzka M, Wild B, Keiblinger KM, Zechmeister-Boltenstern S, Richter A. Adjustment of microbial nitrogen use efficiency to carbon: Nitrogen imbalances regulates soil nitrogen cycling. Nat Commun. 2014;5:1-7.

Yost JL, Roden EE, Hartemink AE. Geochemical fingerprint and soil carbon of sandy alfisols. Soil Systems. 2019;3(3):59.

Sarkar D, Rakesh S, Sinha AK, Mukhopadhyay P. Forms of phosphorus in some acidic Entisols of subtropical Eastern India. Int J Plant Soil Sci. 2017;19(3):1-9.

Sinha AK, Ghosh A, Dhar T, Bhattacharya PM, Mitra B, Rakesh S, Paneru P,

Srestha SR, Manandhar S, Beura K, Dutta S, Pradha AK, Rao KK, Hossain A,

Siddquie N, Molla MSH, Chaki AK, Gathala MK, Islam MS, Dalal RC, Gaydon DS, Laing AM, Menzies NW. Trends in key soil parameters under conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification farming practices in the Eastern Ganga Alluvial Plains. Soil Res. 2019;57(8):883-893.

Jackson ML. Soil chemical analysis. prentice hall of India. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi; 1973.

Bouyoucos GJ. Hydrometer methods improves for making particle size analysis of soils. Agron J. 1962;54:464-465.

Baker KF. The determination of organic carbon in soil using a probe-colorimeter. Laborarory Practice. 1976;25:82-83.

Anonyms. Official Methods of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington D.C., 12th Edition (Ed. Horwitz W). 1975;15-18.

Liu X, Zhang A, Ji C, Joseph S, Bian R, Li L, Pan G, Paz-Ferreiro J. Biochar's effect on crop productivity and the dependence on experimental conditions - A meta-analysis of literature data. Plant Soil. 2013; 373:583-594.

Agboadoh DMY. Soil organic carbon stocks in croplands of the Bechem Forest District, Ghana (Unpublished master’s thesis). Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; 2011.

Dawoe E. Conversion of natural forest to Cocoa Agroforest in lowland humid Ghana: Impact on plant biomass production, organic carbon and nutrient dynamics (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; 2009.

Dowuona GNN, Adjetey ET. Assessment of carbon storage in some savanna soils under different land-use systems in Ghana. Presented at ICID+18 Conference, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil; 2010.

Sharma J, Chauhan R, Bhatta S. Depth wise distribution of soil organic carbon along the altitudinal gradient of forested watershed in Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park, Central Nepal. Int Res J Environ Sci. 2018;7(11):7-14.

Horn R, Way T, Rostek J. Effect of repeated tractor wheeling on stress/strain properties and consequences on physical properties in structured arable soils. Soil Tillage Res. 2003;73(1-2):101-106.

Twum EKA, Nii-Annang S. Impact of soil compaction on bulk density and root biomass of Quercus petraea L. at reclaimed post-lignite mining site in Lusatia, Germany. Appl Environ Soil Sci. 2015; 504603.

Bhattacharyya T, Pal DK, Chandran P, Mandal C, Ray SK, Gupta RK, Gajbhiye KS. Managing soil carbon stocks in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Curr Sci. 2004;79:1-34.

Celik I. Land-use effects on organic matter and physical properties of soilin a southern Mediterranean highland of Turkey. Soil Tillage Res. 2004;83:270- 277.

Tanveera A, Tasawoor AK, Parvaiz AT, Mehrajuddin N. Relation of soil bulk density with texture, total organic matter content and porosity in the soils of Kandi Area of Kashmir valley, India. Int Res J Earth Sci. 2016;4(1):1-6.

Bessah E, Abdullahi B, Sampson KA, Appollonia AO. Dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in the Guinea savanna and transition agro-ecology under different land-use systems in Ghana. Cogent Geosci. 2016;2:1140319.

Filippi P, Jones EJ, Ginns BL, Whelan WB, Roth GW, Bishop TFA. Mapping the depth-to-soil pH constraint, and the relationship with cotton and grain yield at the within-field scale. Agronomy. 2019;9(5): 251.

Hairiah K, van Noordwijk M. Soil properties and carbon stocks. In: Aboveground Biodiversity Assessment Working Group Summary Report 1996–99: Impact of Different Land Uses on Biodiversity (Compilled by Gillison A.N.). 2000;143-254.

Jiao JG, Yang LZ, Wu JX, Wang HQ, Li HX, Ellis EC. Land use and soil organic carbon in China’s village landscapes. Pedosphere. 2010;20:1-14.

Konen ME, Burras CL, Sandor JA. Organic carbon, texture, and quantitative color measurement relationships for cultivated soils in north central Iowa. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 2003;67:1823-1830.

Zinn YL, Lal R, Resck DVS. Edaphic controls on soil organic carbon relation in the Brazilian Cerrado: Texture and mineralogy. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 2007; 71:1204-1214.

Franzluebbers AJ, Haney RL, Hons FM, Zuberer DA. Active fractions of organic matter in soils with different texture. Soil Biol Biochem. 1996;28(10):1367-1372.

Tisdall JM, Oades JM. Organic matter and water-stable aggregates in soils. Eur J Soil Sci. 1982;33:141-163.

Zhao X, Xue JF, Zhang XQ, Kong FL, Chen F, Lal R, Zhang HL. Stratification and storage of soil organic carbon and nitrogen as affected by tillage practices in the North China Plain. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(6): e0128873.

Liu LL, Greaver TL. A global perspective on belowground carbon dynamics under nitrogen enrichment. Ecol Lett. 2010;13: 819-828.

Gundersen P, Callesen I, de Vries W. Nitrate leaching in forest ecosystems is controlled by forest floor C/N ratio. Environ Pollut. 1998;102:403-407.

Gundersen, PL, Sevel JS, Christiansen L, Vesterdal K, Hansen A, Bastrup-Birk A. Do indicators of nitrogen retention and leaching differ between coniferous and broadleaved forests in Denmark? For Ecol Manag. 2009;258:1137-1146.

Callesen I, Raulund-Rasmussen K, Westman CJ, Tau-Strand L. Nitrogen pools and C:N ratios in well-drained Nordic forest soils related to climate and soil texture. Environ Res. 2007;12:681-692.

Post WM, Pastor J, Zinke PJ, Stangenberger AG. Global patterns of soil nitrogen storage. Nature. 1985;317:613-616.