The soil quality of the world's largest refugee campsites located in the Hill forest of Bangladesh and the way forward to improve the soil quality.
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Fisheries & Marine Resource Technology Discipline
School:- Life Science School
The Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are located in the forest areas of the Cox's Bazar South Forest Division. The construction of refugee camps has caused detrimental changes in the natural vegetation and soil quality of the campsites. The objectives of this study were to develop a database on the soil quality of the block plantation sites and to prescribe native species for plantation and site quality improvement. A total of 204 soil samples from 34 sites of block plantations and control-denuded hill sites were collected from the refugee camps. Soil physical properties (depth of humus layer, bulk density, soil texture) and chemical properties (pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic carbon, and nutrients (N, P, and K) of the collected samples were measured. Depth of soil humus layer was varied from 0.6 to 2.5 cm and only 4% sampling points possessed the humus layer. Comparatively (p < 0.05) higher bulk density (1.64 g/cm3) was observed for the control-denuded sites. Soil EC found to vary significantly (p < 0.05) among the plantations types and the control-denuded hill sites. Comparatively lower concentration of soil organic carbon and nutrients (N, P, and K) were observed for the control-denuded hill sites. While comparatively higher stocks of carbon and nutrients were observed for block plantations without terraces. This study has prescribed 40 native tree species for plantation in the campsites. However, periodic monitoring of the soil quality properties and carbon stock and sequestration are at a time interval are needed to track the restoration performance of the studied areas.