Chapter 1. Sandy Soil: Advantages and Disadvantages


Razanah Ramya, PhD
Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Part of the book: Advantages and Disadvantages of Sandy Soils


In Malaysia, problem soils are referred to as saline soils, acid sulphate soils, peat, sandy soil (BRIS soil), and soils on ultrabasic rocks. For maximising their productivity and usage for crop cultivation, these soils are currently the subject of intensive research. Sand-textured soils are known as entisols or spodosols in Malaysia, and they are typically found on coastal ridges along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Sandy soils have a spodic horizon, are acidic, and have a low clay concentration, which limits their ability to retain cations. Research on sandy soils appears to significantly correlate with the rising use of irrigation techniques and fertilisers in agriculture, indicating a stronger emphasis on the soil and environment-related problems regarding sandy soils. Sandy soils have a restricted capacity for natural production as a result of restricting soil characteristics such as low water retention, high water infiltration, low fertiliser and carbon storage, and high susceptibility to erosion. This makes the ecosystem naturally unstable. A deeper comprehension of the mineralization of soil organic nitrogen and carbon is necessary to enhance soil fertility management, contribute to food security, and mitigate climate change. In sandy-textured soils, sedentary and high-input farming practices could affect the soil properties and, consequently, soil health and agricultural productivity. A few crops, such as watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris L.), cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), coconut (Cocos nucifera), and passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata L.), have been shown to survive and grow in sandy soils despite their low water-retention capacity and nutritional content. To understand and maximise the exploitation and productivity of sandy soils for agricultural cultivation, this research examines recent studies on them, their properties, and their distribution, as well as the environmental difficulties related to them.

Keywords: sandy soil, soil properties, environmental issues, soil amelioration, soil fertility


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