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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-60
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
26 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Formation and characteristics of an Ultisol in Peninsular Malaysia utilized for oil palm production
Arolu Ayanda Fatai, Jusop Shamshuddin, Che Ishaq Fauziah, Othman Radziah, and Mohsen Bohluli Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract. Most of the soils in the upland areas of Peninsular Malaysia are classified as Ultisols. Oil palm production on these soils is usually limited by their inherent low soil productivity. However, the crop is cultivated successfully on most of the soils following right soil management practices. A study was conducted in Bera, Malaysia to determine the characteristics and fertility of an Ultisol cropped to oil palm for many years continuously. In this study, the soil in the plantation was sampled, analyzed and classified. The soil under study was formed under tropical environment with udic moisture regime on fine-grained sedimentary rocks mixed with tuffs of Permian age. Due to very long exposure to the condition of high temperature and high rainfall throughout its development, the soil in the area was reddish in color, clayey, deep and highly weathered. The study found that the clay fraction of the soil was dominated by kaolinite, hematite, goethite and gibbsite; hence, the CEC and basic cations were low. Besides, soil reaction was acidic in nature with soil pH slightly below 5, but the exchangeable Al was more than 1 cmolc/kg soil. However, it was believed that these inherent characteristics were not expected to significantly affect the production of oil palm grown on the soil. With proper agronomic practices, the area can be utilized for oil palm production sustainably.

Citation: Fatai, A. A., Shamshuddin, J., Fauziah, C. I., Radziah, O., and Bohluli, M.: Formation and characteristics of an Ultisol in Peninsular Malaysia utilized for oil palm production, Solid Earth Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-60, in review, 2017.
Arolu Ayanda Fatai et al.
Arolu Ayanda Fatai et al.
Arolu Ayanda Fatai et al.

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Short summary
The study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Malaysia and it seeks to understand why Oil palm performs better on the majority of Malaysian soil and perhaps the tropical environment at large despite the inherently low nutrient capacity of the soils. The study shows how tropical soils are formed and the condition under which they exist in and the criteria to select a suitable soil for Oil palm cultivation. The study emphasizes adequate management as a means of improving Oil palm yield.
The study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Malaysia and it seeks to understand why Oil...
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