Ferralitic Soil

Ferralitic Soil


any one of a group of soils that form in the humid tropics as the result of chemical weathering (accompanied by decomposition of most of the primary minerals, except quartz, and accumulation of secondary minerals, such as kaolinite, goethite, and gibbsite) and by the accumulation of humus beneath forest vegetation. They typically have a low silica content and a high content of aluminum and iron.

Ferralitic soils exhibit a low cation exchange capacity and high anion absorptive capacity, a soil profile that is primarily red and patchy yellow-red, and a strong acid reaction. Fulvic acids predominate in the composition of the humus. The profile of ferralitic soils reveals an upper humus horizon ranging from 1–1.5 to 8–10 percent humus; the structure of the middle section differs for different subtypes, but it generally shifts gradually from the humus horizon to parent rock. The profile also exhibits eluvial and illuvial horizons, concretions of manganese and aluminum, various forms of laterite, and gleying.

Ferralitic soils include red-yellow, red, laterite (with a laterite horizon), ferralitic-gley, and other soils. They are widespread in South and Central America, Central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and northern Australia. They are suitable for the cultivation of rice, coffee trees, rubber trees, cacao, sugarcane, and oil palms. Ferralitic soils are sometimes called lateritic soils.


Pochvovedenie, 2nd ed. Edited by I. S. Kaurichev. Moscow, 1975.
References in periodicals archive ?
The plantation was established 25 years ago after forest clearing on a ferralitic soil with gibbsite and kaolinite (Ferric Acrisol according to the FAO classification, Blasco et al.
immigrants over a century ago, are today cultivated in a coastal belt of ferralitic soils over an area of 4,724 hectares (11,673 acres), down from 10,800 hectares in the early 1990s; about two-thirds of that consists of orange groves.
Humbel FX (1975) A study of soil-macroporosity based on permeability data: application of a filtration model to ferralitic soils of Cameroon.
Caliman JP, Olivin J, Dufour O (1987) Degradation of sandy ferralitic soils in oil palm cultivation through acidification and compaction-correction methods.
immigrants over a century ago, are cultivated in a coastal belt of ferralitic soils over an area of 10,800 hectares (26,690 acres); two-thirds of that consists of orange groves.
Larre-Larrouy MC, Feller C (1997) Determination of carbohydrates in two ferralitic soils and their particle-size fractions: analysis by capillary gas chromatography after derivation by silylation.