Soil vulnerability index to climatic variability in coffee regions of Colombia

Keywords: Fertilization, nutrient leaching, soil management, erosion, precipitation, water storage capacity, organic matter

Abstract

Global climate change is one of the main factors threatening agriculture. In this context, variations in precipitation have the strongest effect on soil fertility, plant nutrient availability, and erosion. This research aimed to assess soil vulnerability to climate variability in the central coffee-growing region of Colombia. This study analyzed soil components involved in the sustainability of the coffee production system as affected by extreme high and low precipitation events. For evaluation, three sensitivity indices were constructed, with a weighted aggregation structure and with weight values defined from expert knowledge. The indices were estimated by randomly selecting 432 coffee farms in the municipalities of Balboa and Santuario in Risaralda department and Salamina in Caldas department. The soil nutrient availability and conservation vulnerability index was moderate in the three municipalities (Balboa=2.87 and coefficient of variation-CV 13%; Santuario=2.88 and CV 10%; Salamina=2.9 and CV 9%). The soil leaching vulnerability index was very low in Balboa (4.33 and CV 3%) and Salamina (4.74 and CV 7%) and low in Santuario (3.57 and CV 19%). The soil loss vulnerability index was low in Balboa (3.32 and CV 10.03%) and Salamina (3.49 and CV 11.43%) and moderate in Santuario (3.13 and CV 9.34%). Lastly, the vulnerability of coffee-growing soil to climate variability was low in Balboa (3.33) and Salamina (3.45) and moderate in Santuario (3.09). Based on these results, in the three municipalities, coffee growers must introduce farming practices towards improving soil resilience and decreasing soil vulnerability to high and low precipitation extremes by adequately managing the sources and doses of fertilizers, soil conditioners, and compost and by implementing integrated management of weeds and litterfall.

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Published
2021-09-29
How to Cite
Lince-Salazar, L., Sadeghian-Khalajabadi, S., & Díaz-Poveda, V. (2021). Soil vulnerability index to climatic variability in coffee regions of Colombia. Revista De Ciencias Agrícolas, 38(2), 124-143. https://doi.org/10.22267/rcia.213802.165