Saturday, 7 July 2012

Do Anthropogenic Dark Earths Occur in the Interior of Borneo? Some Initial Observations from East Kalimantan

Two new articles covering a new publication on ADE in Kalimantan, dug up by Erich Knight...
"Tiem, Punyuh & Tanah Hitam ; It's all TP to me, but Anthropogenic Dark Earths (ADEs) are popping up all over.
As I reported May 15, about new TP soils in Borneo, (below), now we have new find in Malinau [East Kalimantan]
Charred lands: fertile grounds for sustainable agriculture in Kalimantan?

TP in Asia,... Indonesian Anthropogenic Black Earth; Now along the lines of the African traditions of  both the African Ankara system and Batibo technique and no dough more akin to the Malaysian char practice Malay tanah hitam (black soil), we have Borneo Black Soils;
Terra preta found in Asia

"Abstract: Anthropogenic soils of the Amazon Basin (Terra Preta, Terra Mulata) reveal that pre-Colombian peoples made lasting improvements in the agricultural potential of nutrient-poor soils. Some have argued that applying similar techniques could improve  agriculture over much of the humid tropics, enhancing local livelihoods and food security, while also sequestering large quantities of carbon to mitigate climate change. Here, we present preliminary evidence for Anthropogenic Dark Earths (ADEs) in tropical Asia. Our surveys in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) identified several sites where soils possess an anthropogenic development and context similar in several respects to the Amazon’s ADEs. Similarities include riverside locations, presence of useful fruit trees, spatial extent as well as soil characteristics such as dark color, high carbon content (in some cases), high phosphorus levels, and improved apparent fertility in comparison to neighboring soils.  Local people value these soils for cultivation but are unaware of their origins. We discuss these soils in the context of local history and land-use and identify numerous unknowns. Incomplete biomass burning appears key to these modified soils. More study is required to clarify soil transformations in Borneo and to determine under what circumstances such soil improvements might remain ongoing."

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