EROSION PROBLEMS AND CONSERVATION NEEDS OF PINEAPPLE CULTURE

S.A. El-Swaify, J. Zhang, C.A.A. Ciesiolka, R. Palis, C.W. Rose
The climatic requirements of pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) are such that it is predominantly grown in tropical environments. Such environments are characterized by high soil erosion hazards, particularly under humid, subhumid, or semi-arid rainfall regimes. Conservation provisions are, therefore, necessary for preventing degradation of soil and protecting the quality of water resources under pineapple culture. Quantitative soil loss data were collected from agricultural watersheds in Hawaii and from pineapple fields on slopes ranging from <4% to 38% in Queensland. For pineapple-growing areas in Hawaii, erosion potential as determined by site attributes (rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, and topography) is estimated to range from 15 to 120 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The magnitude of actually occurring soil loss from pineapple watershed produced an annual average soil loss of 7.13 Mg ha-1 yr-1, which is below the conventional "tolerance limit" recognized by the U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service (11 Mg ha-1 yr-1). Unpaved field access roads and exposed fields during tillage and early growth stages were the primary sources of sediment. In Queensland, steep pineapple lands (on 24–38% slopes) produced significantly higher soil losses than in Hawaii, particularly, as slope lengths increased. Slope length, soil consolidation, antecedent water content, stone exposure, formed rill frequency, mass movement, and vegetative cover had the most effect on runoff and soil loss. To be effective, conservation practices aimed at reducing erosion to tolerable levels must integrate important elements of crop and land management (including roads).
El-Swaify, S.A., Zhang, J., Ciesiolka, C.A.A., Palis, R. and Rose, C.W. (1993). EROSION PROBLEMS AND CONSERVATION NEEDS OF PINEAPPLE CULTURE. Acta Hortic. 334, 227-240
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.334.23
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.334.23
Ananas comosus, watersheds, tropical environment, sediment, water quality

Acta Horticulturae