Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of heavy metal and nutrient uptake by soils in Indian Cardamom Hills

Murugan Muthusamy1, Bijoy K. Panigrahy2*, Paddu Krishnappa Shetty1, Alappan Subbiah3and Raju Ravi4
  1School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bangalore-560 012, India. 2Department of Environmental Engineering, Eastern Academy of Science and Technology, Bhubaneswar-754001, India. 3College of Horticulture, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Periyakulam-,625 604, India. 4Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560012, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 May 2012
  •  Published: 31 August 2012



Indian cardamom hill soils were studied to understand nutrient and heavy metal uptake and consequent fertility level changes. Extensive cultivation of cardamom and conversion of forest land to cardamom agriculture resulted in decline of OM and lower pH. Application of chemical fertilizers in the recent past helped enhance the available phosphorus (P). This is surprisingly contrary to the general observation of low P fertility and availability of tropical humid forest soils. Available nutrient concentrations with respect to potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S) were low in cardamom soils while micronutrient concentrations were well above the proposed critical limits. Agricultural intensification through use of mercurial fungicides and other pesticides in Indian cardamom hill soils has resulted in continuous loading of heavy metals in leaves, seeds and rinds. Such a situation could soon lead to a level sufficient to cause serious fertility and environmental problems.


Key words: Nutrient and heavy metal uptake, soil fertility, tropical agro forest environment.