Soil Diversity in the Tropics


Journal Article

This chapter reviews the soil diversity in the tropics. Soil diversity in the tropics is relatively easy to demonstrate using maps with scales of 1.5 million. This chapter evaluates common misconceptions about “tropical soil” that are of ecological significance to consider reasons of misconceptions, and evaluates a hypothesis that soils in the tropics are noted for their marked taxonomic diversity. The process of paradigm change in soil taxonomy, especially among soil, and ecological scientists with interests in the tropics are discussed. Heterogeneity of soils throughout the tropics is quantified by estimating areal extents of soil taxa from recent soil maps of tropical America, Africa, and Asia. Soil diversity in the humid tropics is evaluated by examining the first comprehensive soil maps of the Brazilian Amazon River basin, where systematic soil surveys have been completed. Geographic information systems (GIS) are used to compare the FAO/UNESCO and the more recent Brazilian soil maps of Amazonia. The changing perspectives about soil taxonomy, the development of misconceptions, advances in soil taxonomy, and the creation of the world soil map are also discussed. The diversity of soils and taxonomic correlations among four major classification systems for soils are tabulated. © 1991 Academic Press Limited

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Richter, DD; Babbar, LI

Published Date

  • January 1, 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / C

Start / End Page

  • 315 - 389

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0065-2504

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0065-2504(08)60100-2

Citation Source

  • Scopus