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Research Article Open Access
This study was to evaluate the spatial variability of different soil fertility parameters from Cuban Vertisol soils at landscape level and within a field where sugarcane is cultivated. At landscape level, 144 soil samples from 144 different fields were taken from the plough layer (0 – 20 cm). At the field level, 29 soil samples were collected from one field of 1.96 ha at the same depth by using a stratified random sampling scheme. The collected soil samples were analysed for Cuban Vertisol (OM: Walkley-Black method), available potassium (K2O- Oniani method) and available phosphorus (P- Olsen and Oniani methods). In order to compare the variability of the soil fertility parameters among themselves across the landscape and within a field, the coefficient of variation (CV) was used. The frequency distribution histograms of the average soil fertility parameters per field were calculated. Factor analysis was used to group the four soil fertility parameters into factors based on the correlation matrix of the variables using the principal component analysis method of factor extraction in SPSS software. A large spatial variability of the soil fertility parameters was obtained, mainly P and K2O, for different fields within the province and even within a field. Also, similarities were found when comparing the values observed on the local maxima of each frequency distribution histogram at landscape level and within a field. In all cases, soil fertility parameters were assigned to the Factor 1 for which their eigenvalues were the highest.
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Author(s): Ahmed Chacón Iznaga*, Miguel Rodríguez Orozco, Edith Aguila Alcantara, Josse de Baerdemaeker and Wouter Saeys
Cuban Vertisol, Soil Fertility, Component Analysis, Water-Resistant, Plant and Environmental sciences