Saturday, 15 July 2006

Soil Characterization of Laguna Madre (Mexican Burgos-Basin Portion) as a Tool to Establish Land Sustainability for Crop and Animal Production.

Américo Cardona Estrada1, Ángel Faz Cano2, Carlos Zamora Tovar1, Claudia E. González Romo1, Jorge Jimenez Pérez1, and Mª Ángeles Muñoz García3. (1) Instituto de Ecología y Alimentos. Univ Autónoma de Tamaulipas, 13 Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos N0. 928, Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, (2) Univ Politécnica de Cartagena, Alfonso XIII, 52, Cartagena, Spain, (3) Univ Politécnica de Cartagena, Alfonso XIII, 52, Cartagena, Spain

Laguna Madre is located in Tamaulipas state, Mexico, and together with Laguna Madre of Texas (USA) globally conform one of the most important coastal hypersaline lagoon system. In April 2005, the zone was described as Protected Natural Area by the Mexican government; as well as designated as RAMSAR Site No. 1362. The northern portion of the lagoon, included in the Burgos Basin, is an important region rich in oil, and gas resources. However, the area has suffered different impacts, not only natural, but human driven, such as hurricanes, and land use change, affecting soil erosion, and pollution, among others. The study describes the present soil type, characteristics, and properties, but also genesis in order to establish its potential use to prevent degradation; the results with help predict soil vulnerability, and risks associated to crop, and animal production. Four representative sampling sites were selected from the total study area (Media Luna, Francisco J. Mújica, La Capilla, and Higuerillas-Mezquital). One soil profile of each, was described and analyzed according to FAO-ISRIC. The results indicated that all the localities show deep soils (> 2m) with moderate alkaline pH (8 to 8.3), and nule to moderate content in organic matter (0.26 to 1.93%); nitrogen content is also poor (0.02 to 0.167 kg/ha), including soil salinity. Far the three first localities, the soil present is Solonchak associated with Vertisol, with clayey texture, and Higuerillas-Mezquital has Arenosol type with sandy texture. Collaterally, the Francisco J. Mújica locality at 0 to 76 cm depth did not present salinity; perhaps the other profiles indicate an extremely salinity soil, ranging 17 to 50 dS/m.

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