Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 2465-2482

Quality indices in degraded pasture in hilly relief

Ribeiro Passos, RenatoMarciano Costa, LiovandoLang Burak, DiegoAndrade Santos, Danilo

Due to the influence of relief on soil variability, homogenous pedogenetic conditions have been recommended for developing soil quality indices based on their chemical, physical and biological attributes. This limits the development and application of an index to the same pedoenvironment in hilly relief. The present work aimed to evaluate the soil coverage and soil chemical and physical attributes as indicators of quality related to visual aspects of pasture degradation and contextualizing the influence of the relief. For this purpose, degradation levels were separated from visual aspects, and soil coverage as well as soil chemical and physical attributes were evaluated. Such levels were less subjectively defined, with the discriminant functions generated using information from soil coverage. Factor Analysis showed that altitude and slope explain a lower proportion of the total variation of the data. On the other hand, slope variations control the majority of soil attribute variations, especially the physical attributes that do not present a clear and direct relationship with degradation levels, which makes it difficult to use these attributes as indicators of quality. This relationship with the soil attributes is differentiated mainly as a function of the sun-facing slope: on the East/South facing slope, a greater relationship was observed for the physical attributes and plant

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