M.Forst.1521: Ecopedology of the tropics and suptropics

Learning outcome:
General understanding of the most important aspects of tropical and subtropical soils, their occurrence, genesis, geography, properties and use. Understanding the principles of the international FAO soil profile description and classification.

Courses and examinations
Ecopedology of the tropics and subtropics (Lecture, 4 SWS)

Part I: General introduction in soils of the tropics and subtropics, their functions, genesis, geography and properties. Objective: general understanding of the most important aspects of tropical soils, their occurrence, genesis, properties and use. The following topics will be discussed: Introduction; Climate, water and vegetation; Weathering and weathering products, clay minerals; Soil organic matter, C and N dynamic; Soil chemical reactions, variable charge; Soil forming processes and development of soils; Water and nutrient cycling of land use systems; Tropical shield areas (example: Amazon basin);
Arid shields and platforms (example: West Africa); Tropical mountain areas (example: Andes); Fluvial and coastal areas in the tropics (example: coastal areas in Asia). Part II: Introduction in the description and classification of soils, using in international system (FAO). Objective: understanding the principles of the FAO soil profile description and classification. The course consists of introductory lectures in which the principles of the FAO soil description and classification will be explained. This knowledge will be practiced using examples of soil profiles from different tropical countries. The second part consists of a practical week during which soil profile descriptions and evaluations will be exercised in the field. We will visit three contrasting sites around Göttingen where a site and soil description will be made. The work will be done in small groups. Students discuss their results in a report.

Exam: Term paper (10 pages) and written exam (2 hours)

Prerequisite for examination:
Kenntnis der beschriebenen Lehrinhalte, Erreichung der festgelegten Lernziele und Nachweis der angestrebten Kompetenzen.

180 (56/124 h, Attendance time /Self-study time)

Admission requirements:

Recommended previous knowledge:


Person responsible for module:
Prof. Dr. Edzo Veldkamp

Course frequency:
Academic Term each summer semester

One semester

Number of repeat examinations permitted:

Recommended Semester:
First Semester

Maximum number of students: