Physicochemical characterization of quartzitic degraded soils and adjacent areas of rupestrian fields, Serra do Cipó, MG, Brazil
While road works are an important source of soil and landscape degradation, there are few studies on restoration of these environments. Erosive processes caused by these actions end up compromising the natural regeneration, the ability to store carbon and water in soil, decreasing its resilience in the face of intense rainfall. The impact on thes afety of urban communities and ecotourism is significant. Furthermore, the lack of basic knowledge about soils and the quality of the land cover eventually become a limiting factor for land reclamation. This study aimed to compare the physical and chemical properties of degraded soils with the soils of preserved adjacent areas, along the MG-010 highway. This highway cuts through areas of rupestrian fields in the Environmental Prorecuperatection Area Morro da Pedreira, next to Serra do Cipó National Park. Physicochemical analyses were made on soil samples collected in six degraded areas and their adjacent preserved areas. The soils in degraded areas differed significantly from adjacent areas in almost all chemical and physical attributes evaluated. With exception of pH and aluminium content, the degraded areas had lower soil fertility than the adjacent areas of rupestrian fields. We did not observed any substantial regeneration of local vegetationeven after decades of topsoil being removed suggesting that the physical and chemical quality of these soils were the major factors that prevented their regeneration. This fact indicates that the rupestrian fields are extremely fragile environments with low resilience, requiring special strategies for ecological restoration in order to keep its biotic and abiotic peculiarities.
Key words: Conservation, Espinhaço Range, highway works, soil fertility
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