Soil, a precious natural resource bestows its benefits to the entire biotic entity of the globe. Forestry is an interdisciplinary science and forest soils play a key role in forest management. This textbook 'Fundamentals of Forest Soils' is a long felt need of the students of Forestry and Agriculture. The motivating thought of bringing out this book is to make the students to acquaint on the fundamental and applied aspects of the forest soils.
The contents of this book are brought out in such a way that it would help the readers to understand the fundamental and basic aspects of the forest soils. The fundamental aspects include geology and the earth, petrology and mineralogy, weathering and soil formation, forest soils, soil taxonomy, and forest soil organic matter. After acquiring desirable anchorage by the readers, strenuous efforts have been taken to focus their interest into the applied issues and help them to acquire deep knowledge about forest soils. The applied aspects cover nutrient cycling and nutrient management in forest ecosystems, soil fertility evaluation and forest fire.
Sincere efforts have been made to bring this book as a forefront in forest soils and all the salient features are accomplished in a self-explanatory manner. The authors hope that teachers and students of Forestry and Agriculture in Agricultural Universities or in any other organization would find this textbook useful in learning and teaching various aspects of forest soils and their management.
Dr.A.K.Mani is the Professor and Head, Regional Research Station, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Paiyur. Formerly he served as the Professor and Head, Department of Forest Soils, Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam for more than five years and involved in teaching and guiding the students in forest soils. He has obtained M.Sc (Ag.) and Ph.D with specialization in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry from TNAU, Coimbatore. He has 27 years of research experience, of which more than 13 years was with hill soils. He is recipient of Sri S.R.P. Ponnusamy Chettiyar Medal and Shield, Founder Chairman Karumuthu Thiyagarajan Chettiyar Medal and Vice president G.S.Pathak's Prize for the best Ph.D. student of the University and Dr. A.N. Puri Prize for the best Ph.D. student in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry during 1992. He underwent short term training in Massey University, New Zealand under AHRDP and participated in many national and international conferences. He has published more than 85 research papers in various national and international journals and 55 popular articles.
Dr. R. Santhi, Professor (SS&AC) is working in the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, TNAU, Coimbatore. She has 19 years of experience in teaching, research and extension activities in TNAU and has been involved in teaching and guiding students in forest soils and soil fertility oriented research on Agroforestry in the faculty of Forestry. She is specialized in developing soil test based integrated fertilizer prescriptions (STCR-IPNS) for agricultural and horticultural crops and also involved in developing farmers' user friendly computer software DSSIFER. She has been awarded with the Ramasatrulu Mungala Prize and gold medal for the Best Research Work in 2004 by Madras Agricultural Students Union, Tamil Nadu Young Women Scientist Award 2002 by Science City, Chennai for her outstanding contribution in STCR-IPNS Technology and the Indian Society of Soil Science South Zone Award for the best Ph.D thesis in 1996. She is also the recipient of four more awards for the best M. Sc. (Ag.) student of the University in 1987. She has published more than 75 research papers in various national and international journals, 25 popular articles and two books and participated in many national and international conferences. Presently she is the Principal Investigator for an externally funded scheme on the Promotion of medicinal plants cultivation through saline water irrigation.