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Characteristics of soils in the tropical rainforest biome of Biosphere 2 after 3 years
Ecological Engineering 13: 95-106
After 3 years in place, soils of the tropical rainforest (TRF) area of Biosphere 2 were quantitatively sampled to determine the chemical and physical properties at different depths. Analyses were made of soils from six pits to determine several physical and chemical properties of the topsoil of the lowland forest and ginger belt zones. Comparisons were made with rainforest soils in Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Soils in the rainforest area of Biosphere 2 were started with relatively homogeneously mixed organic and inorganic materials according to two different ‘recipes’, and then planted with tropical plant species along with additional introduced life forms. The data presented in this study reveals some soil development processes taking place (vertical differences in soil aggregates, organic matter, nitrogen, and soil-borne animals). Soils remained slightly alkaline (pH 7.4–7.5), with higher concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and potassium than in acid soils of older rainforests.