Distribution of Forms of Sulphur and Their Relationships with Soil Attributes in Tea Growing Soils under Different Agro-climatic Zones of Northeastern India

Ranjan Bera(Inhana Organic Research Foundation, 168 Jodhpur Park, Kolkata - 700068, India)
Antara Seal(Inhana Organic Research Foundation, 168 Jodhpur Park, Kolkata - 700068, India)
A. K. Chatterjee(Department of Soil Science, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal 731236, India)
Pradip Bhattacharyya(Agricultural and Ecological Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, New Barganda, Giridih 815301, Jharkhand, India)


Distribution of different forms of sulphur (S) and carbon-nitrogen-sulphur relationships were studied in surface and subsurface soils of some tea growing areas of Northeastern India. The soils were strongly acidic in reaction (pH - 4.0 to 5.5), low to very high in organic carbon (4 to 54 g kg-1), with cation exchange capacity (8.8 to 19.2 cmol(p+)kg-1) and base saturation (50 to 77 %). Organic S mostly contributed to the total - sulphur (62 to 77 %) followed by Non sulphate S (28.8 to 37.2%) and sulphate S (0.7 to 1.4 %). Except sulphate S, other forms of sulphur showed significant positive correlation among themselves as well as with organic carbon and total nitrogen. The C:N, C:S, N:S and C:N:S ratio varied from 8.2 to 10.0, 6.18 to 71.57, 0.62 to 7.26 and 100:10.1:1.4 to 100:12.2:16.2 respectively. Wider C:N:S ratios in all the surface and sub-surface soils indicated that the major portion of nitrogen and sulphur in tea growing soils of Northeastern India is locked up in organic combination which might pose as a potential threat towards tea plantation if application of sulphur is continuously ignored.


Tea soils; Sulphur forms; C:N ratio; C:S ratio; N:S ratio; C:N:S ratio

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