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Title: Investigating factors responsible for soil pH and its spatial variation in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest
Authors: Pak Hui Ying
Keywords: spatial variation, soil acidity, spatial correlation, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, soil chemistry, soil physical properties
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Pak Hui Ying (2018). Investigating factors responsible for soil pH and its spatial variation in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Numerous studies have shown the deleterious impacts of acidic soils on nearby streams and aquatic ecosystems. Hence, the role of soil is key to the maintenance of sensitive ecosystems. Situated in the tropical belt, the Nee Soon Swamp Forest (NSSF) in Singapore is subjected to a humid climate with high annual precipitation of approximately 2000 mm (Balasubramanian et al., 2001). As a result, the soil in the NSSF undergoes intensive weathering and leaching regimes, resulting in a natural acidification process (Thomas and Hargrove, 1984; Ulrich and Sumner, 2012; Lesturgez et al., 2006). Spatial variation in soil acidity exists as a result of interactions between soil and other factors, including climate, vegetation, organisms in the soil, geology, and topography (Webster, 2000). The culmination of these interactions results in heterogeneity in soil properties that governs soil pH. In view of that, this thesis aims to investigate the various soil physical and chemical properties such as clay content, organic matter (OM), effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC), base saturation (BS) that are responsible for soil acidity and its spatial variation in the NSSF. Generally, pH increased with depth for most sites, and inverse trends were observed for cations, soil moisture and OM. From the results obtained, soil pH was significantly correlated with soil moisture, ECEC and BS. These soil properties were mostly adequate in explaining the spatial variation and correlation of sites’ pH within subcatchment. However, there were indications that soil properties alone may not be able to fully account for the spatial spatial variation and correlation in pH. This study seeks to provide a more robust understanding of the soil chemistry in the NSSF and serve as an important preliminary research for future soil research in the NSSF.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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