Conversion of forest to agricultural fields has
become a common practice in India. Very often these fields have been abandoned
due to lack of sustainable production. In course of time these fallow lands
undergo natural secondary succession. Present study was carried out to find out
the restoration of soil physicochemical and biochemical properties in a
chronosequence of 2 yr, 4 yr, 6 yr, 11 yr, and 15 yr fallow lands. Soil enzyme
activities play key roles in the biochemical functioning of soils, including
soil organic matter formation and degradation, nutrient cycling, and reflect
the change in soil management and land use. There was gradual improvement in
the physical condition and nutrient status along with increase in soil amylase,
cellulase, dehydrogenase, phophatase, and urease activity in the present study
with the progress of fallow age which indicates the importance of natural
secondary succession in soil restoration. However the PCA analysis indicated
that natural vegetational succession could reclaim the soil quality and promote
ecosystem restoration but it required a long time under the present local
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