Organic matter, Bulk density, Annual crops, Rainfed crops, Secondary vegetation.
Objective: To evaluate the quality of a Cambisol at different times of agricultural use in the Los Ríos region (RR), Tabasco, Mexico.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Four agricultural uses were selected on a Cambisol (CM): rainfed crop (RC), annual crop (AC), pasture (Pa), and secondary vegetation (SV). These were established at three different times (1984, 2000, and 2019) with four replications. Soil was collected using an auger at a depth of 0-30 cm. The physicochemical properties of the soil—such as texture (T), bulk density (BD), aggregate stability (AS), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)—were determined. A factorial analysis of variance was performed (significance level p=0.05). Variables that showed a statistically significant effect were subjected to Tukey's multiple comparison test (significance level p=0.05).
Results: Statistically significant differences (p≤0.05) were obtained for OM, P, K, and BD contents. The high OM content present in CM with SV in all years shows a better soil quality compared to CM with RC and AC. The high BD recorded in CM with Pa since 1984 shows soil quality degradation by compaction resulting from grazing due to extensive livestock farming.
Study limitations/Implications: Sustainable management practices are required to recover degraded CM.
Findings/Conclusions: OM and BD contents were the best quality indicators for the CM affected by the change in agricultural use and time of use in RR, Tabasco.