Physical attributes and carbon stock of soils of Archaeological Dark Earth of the Amazonia

Abstract In order to evaluate soil quality and sustainability in Amazon Archaeological Dark Earth environments, it is important to characterize the impacts of the use of different cover types. The objective of this work was therefore to evaluate the physical attributes and organic carbon content in areas of “Terra Preta Arqueológica”, in the municipality of Novo Aripuanã, AM, under the cultivation of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) and pasture, in comparison with forest cover, based on traditional univariate and multivariate statistical techniques and geostatistics. In order to accomplish this, grids with regular spacing and samples with 88 georeferenced points per grid were delimited. Samples of soil blocks with preserved structure and volumetric rings were collected to determine physical properties and organic carbon content. The pigeon pea and pasture soils differ statistically from that of the forest and presented above-average aggregate stability, but texture and organic carbon characteristics were below average. The exponential model showed that the physical attributes of the soil predominated, with a strong to moderate degree of dependence, with the area under pigeon pea presenting the greatest variability of soil attributes.