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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996
SUSTAINABLE USE OF FOREST SOILS IN SRI LANKA

C R Panabokke
International Irrigation Management Institute

Sustainble use of forest soils should ensure that the following requirements are met under the different soil environment ecoscapes in the country.
  Maintenance of the natural soil depth
  Maintenance of soil pH and physical structure
  Maintenance of a desirable level of soil flora and fauna

Forest soils in Sri Lanka can be considered under two broad categories.
  1.Forest soils under natural forest
  2. Forest soils under man - made forest

Major differences in soil fauna and flora could exist between these two broad categories. These should be properly described and characterized in order to be able to monitor long term trends.

Soil depth, soil pH and physical structures of the different kinds of forest soils in the country can be readily inferred from the available information of the great soil groups identified, characterized and mapped over the last four decades. It is therefore possible to monitor long term trends in respect of these soil properties.

The degree of robustness, fragility and reliance of the more important great soil groups of this country are now properly understood. Sustainable management and use of forest soils should, therefore, be viewed from the background of the occurrence and distribution of the forest soils across the different great soil groups of the country, by also taking into account the nature of soil resilience of the different soils.

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Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.