African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6801

Full Length Research Paper

Integrated evaluation of soil fertility based on grey correlation analysis at regional scales

Yu Zhang
  • Yu Zhang
  • School of Engineering, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, U.K.
  • Google Scholar
Hua Liu
  • Hua Liu
  • Department of Geography, School of Physics Science and Technology, Lingnan Normal University, Zhanjiang, 524048, Guangdong, P. R. China.
  • Google Scholar
Chris Bingham
  • Chris Bingham
  • School of Engineering, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, U.K.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 November 2013
  •  Accepted: 18 March 2015
  •  Published: 19 March 2015


This paper reports on studies of soil samples from the region of Xiaoliang water conservation station, in China, and its naturally restored forest. 32 indices based on the physical, chemical, microbiological and enzyme properties of the soil are studied, from 9 different vegetation patterns at 45 observation points. Grey correlation analysis and integrated evaluation is used for the analysis of soil fertility. From experimental measurements, it is shown that the integrated evaluation of the sample soil fertility by grey correlation analysis provides excellent agreement with the actual soil characteristics. Eucalyptus may be considered as a primary forest choice to recover bare land, however, it is not suitable for long-term planting and cropping since it will eventually result in degradation of soil fertility, and is therefore not favourable for long-term ecological restoration. Nevertheless, if chosen, additional actions can be taken to benefit soil fertility, such as regular changes of breed variety, crop rotation, mixing with broad-leaf forest, protecting undergrowth vegetation and reducing forest litter coverage.


Key words: Grey correlation, integrated evaluation, regional scale, soil fertility, water conservation station.