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Effects of Land Use on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Akokwa Area of Imo State, Nigeria

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Abstract

The physico-chemical properties of four lands use types in Akokwa of Ideato North, Imo State, Nigeria were determined. The land use patterns were fallow land (FL), cassava continuously cultivated land (CL), Oil palm plantation (OPL) and Yam plot (YL). Composite samples were collected from various depths (0-15 cm, 15-30 cm, 30-45 cm) across these land use patterns and analyzed in the laboratory. Data generated were subjected to analysis of variance. Results obtained showed significant difference (P≤0.05) in soil bulk density, organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (Av. P) and ECEC across the four land use types. The bulk density value was highest at 30-45 cm depth by CL (1.93 g/cm 3), followed by YL (1.89 g/cm 3), OPL (1.70 g/cm 3) and FL (1.68 g/cm 3). The TN content of the soil was highest in the FL at 0-15 cm depth (0.25%) while the lowest was found in the CL plot (0.03%). The soil Av. P content was highest in the FL at 0-15 cm depth (9.63 mg/kg) while the lowest value was obtained in CL plot (1.16 mg/kg). The values of OC at the depths of 0-15 cm, 15-30 cm and 30-45 cm in the FL (1.03%, 0.49%. 0.45%) were found to be significantly different (P≤0.05) from the CL (0.39%, 0.15%, 0.13%) land use type. Results obtained showed that different land use types have varying effects on soil physical and chemical properties. The fallow land had on the surface (0-15 cm) the highest content of soil chemical properties and lowest bulk density. Therefore, farmers may periodically fallow their lands to build up organic matter, stabilize soil aggregates, improves nutrient cycles for sustainable productivity.
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., 2(3): -273-278 (ISSN: 2455-1716) Impact Factor 2.4 MAY-2016
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Effects of Land Use on Soil Physical and Chemical
Properties in Akokwa Area of Imo State, Nigeria
Ufot
1
, U. O., Iren
2
, O. B. and Chikere Njoku
3
, C. U.
1
Department of Soil Science, Akwa Ibom State University, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2
Department of Soil Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
3
Department of Soil Science and Environment, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
*
Address for Correspondence: Dr. O. B. Iren, Department of Soil Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross
River State, Nigeria
Received: 13 March 2016/Revised: 08 April 2016/Accepted: 06 May 2016
ABSTRACT
-
The physico-chemical properties of four lands use types in Akokwa of Ideato North, Imo State, Nigeria
were determined. The land use patterns were fallow land (FL), cassava continuously cultivated land (CL), Oil palm
plantation (OPL) and Yam plot (YL). Composite samples were collected from various depths (0 -15 cm, 15 – 30 cm,
30 45 cm) across these land use patterns and analyzed in the laboratory. Data generated were subjected to analysis of
variance. Results obtained showed significant difference (P0.05) in soil bulk density, organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen
(TN), available phosphorus (Av. P) and ECEC across the four land use types. The bulk density value was highest at
30 45 cm depth by CL (1.93 g/cm
3
), followed by YL (1.89 g/cm
3
), OPL (1.70 g/cm
3
) and FL (1.68 g/cm
3
). The TN
content of the soil was highest in the FL at 0 – 15 cm depth (0.25%) while the lowest was found in the CL plot (0.03%).
The soil Av. P content was highest in the FL at 0 15 cm depth (9.63 mg/kg) while the lowest value was obtained in CL
plot (1.16 mg/kg). The values of OC at the depths of 0 15 cm, 15 30 cm and 30 45 cm in the FL (1.03%, 0.49%.
0.45%) were found to be significantly different (P0.05) from the CL (0.39%, 0.15%, 0.13%) land use type. Results
obtained showed that different land use types have varying effects on soil physical and chemical properties. The fallow
land had on the surface (0 15 cm) the highest content of soil chemical properties and lowest bulk density. Therefore,
farmers may periodically fallow their lands to build up organic matter, stabilize soil aggregates, improves nutrient cycles
for sustainable productivity.
Key-words-
Land use, Soil chemical properties, Bulk density, Fallow land, Cassava land, Yam land, Oil palm land
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INTRODUCTION
In southeastern ecological zone of Nigeria especially
Akokwa area of Ideato North in Imo State, Nigeria, human
population is considered to be the noticeable modifications
in land use patterns. However, local demographic factors as
well as per capital consumption and its variability do
modify the effect of human population on land. In the past
with wider land: man ratio, the common land management
method for sustainable crop production was the shifting
cultivation to follow fallow system (Osakwe 2014,
Akamigbo and Ukaegbu, 2003). However, narrowing land:
man ratio has resulted to alteration of land use pattern and
management method such as clearing of forest and conti-
nuous cropping with or without the use of external inputs.
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www.ijlssr.com DOI:
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This high population increase has poses a number of
threats, notably the provision of adequate food,
management of the soil resources to support food
production, adequate soil information, the development of
appropriate technologies for sustainable agricultural
production and meeting the challenges of intensive
agriculture. To understand and appreciate the burning issue
of sustainability of soil productivity, we need to keep in
mind the two determinant components, the chemical
properties (soil fertility) and physical properties of the soil
(Ahukaemere et al., 2012). Singh (1997) reported that
agricultural quality of a land can be judged by the
physico-chemical properties of its soils which provide
anchorage, water and nutrients to the plants.
The most prevalent land use patterns in the high density
population area of southeastern Nigeria like Akokwa in Imo
State include continuous cassava cultivation, yam
cultivation and oil palm plantation.
There seems to be little or no information on the effect of
these land use patterns on soil physico-chemical properties,
hence food security. It therefore becomes necessary to
study the effect of land use systems on physical and
Research Article
(Open access)
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., VOL 2, ISSUE 3
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chemical properties of soil in Akokwa Area of Imo State,
Nigeria.
The result of the research finding is very crucial to the
development of new strategies which will arrest or reverse
the trend in soil degradation associated with the current
land use practices. The objective of this study were to
determine the status of the physico-chemical properties
associated with the current land use types in the study area
at different depths and ascertain the land use systems most
appropriate for soils of Akokwa-Ideato area of Imo State
for sustainable agricultural production.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The study was conducted in Akokwa-Ideato area of
Northern Imo State, Nigeria. Imo state lies between
latitudes 6
0
30 and 5
0
54N and longitudes 6
0
57 and 7
0
43E. The study area is located within humid tropical
climate, having a mean annual rainfall range of 2000 to
2,250 mm. The mean annual temperature range between
27–28
0
C and relative humidity varies with seasons from
80–90% in the rainy season while 60- 80% relative
humidity is recorded during the dry season. The rainy
season starts April and ends in October with a peak in June
and July while dry season last from November to March.
The dry season is usually accompanied by a dry cold
harmattan period which prevails during the month of
December and January (FDALR, 1985). The soils are
derived from coastal plain sands of sedimentary origin and
are highly weathered and dominated by low activity of clay
minerals (Akamigbo, 2000; Ufot et al., 2001). The soils
have low contents of organic matter, base status and water
storage capacity, and are highly susceptible to accelerated
erosion and degradation (Enwezor et al., 1981). The native
tropical rainforest vegetation has been almost completely
replaced by secondary forest of predominantly wild oil
palm trees of various densities of coverage, and woody
shrubs as Chromolaenu odorata (Siam weed) and various
grass undergrowth. The land use patterns in the area are
dominantly the fallow and continuous cropping systems
and the major food crops grown are cassava, yam, maize
and vegetables.
Soil samples were collected from four different land use
patterns: 2 years fallow land (secondary forest) with pre-
dominantly trees, grasses and shrubs (FL), four years conti-
nuously cultivated cassava farm land (CL), 15 years oil
palm plantation (OPL) and 2 years continuously
cultivated yam plot (YL). The samples were collected using
systematic random sampling from each of the land use
pattern. Soil auger was used to collect soil samples from
each of the land use pattern at three (3) different depths:
0 – 15 cm, 15 30 cm and 30 45 cm. The samples from
each land use at different depths were composited, mixed
thoroughly and sub-sampled. The soil samples collected
were stored in sampling bags for onward laboratory
analysis.
LABORATORY ANALYSIS
Soil samples collected were air-dried, gently crushed and
sieved with a 2 mm sieve. Particle size analysis was
determined using the Bouyoucous hydrometer method
(Dane and Topp, 2002). Bulk density was determined by
oven-drying the core samples to constant weight at 105
0
C
and bulk density computed as described by Klute (1996).
Porosity was inferred from values carried out as described
by IITA (1979) and Sparks (1996). The soil pH was
measured in 1:2.5 soil: water suspension. The suspension
was also used to measure the electrical conductivity using
an electrical conductivity bridge. Soil organic carbon was
determined using Walkley and Black wet oxidation method
as modified by Nelson and Sommers (1986) and organic
matter was calculated by multiplying the value of organic
carbon by a factor of 1.725 (Van Bermelen’s factor).
Exchangeable bases: Ca, Mg, Na, K were extracted using
normal ammonium acetate (Thomas, 1982). The
Exchangeable K and Na were determined by flame
photometer while Ca and Mg were determined by Atomic
absorption spectrophometer (AAS).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Results of soil physical and chemical properties at 0 15
cm, 15 – 30 cm and 30 – 45 cm depths are shown in Tables
1, 2 and 3 respectively. Particle size distribution was
dominated by the sand fractions. Texture of the surface
soils was generally loamy sand. The high percentage sand
observed in all the land use patterns could be attributed to
the geology of the area. The geology of the area is coastal
plain sands which are characterized by sandy soils over a
wide expanse of land (Akamigbo and Ukaegbu, 2003).
However, silt fraction was significantly (P 0.05) higher in
FL (8.00%) than in CL (6.00%), OPL (6.20%) and YL
(6.00%). The continuous destruction of soil structure as
well as the deposition of silt-size particles by runoff water
must have led to the decrease in silt content of CL and YL.
The opposite is seen in FL which was not disturbed for
many years. The clay fraction was significantly (P 0.05)
higher in FL and OPL; this suggests that the vegetation
cover may have reduced the rate at which water flowed into
the soil, thus the reduction in the amount of translocation in
FL. Bulk density was significantly (P 0.05) higher in CL
(1.78 g/cm
3
) and YL (1.73 g/cm
3
) than in OPL (1.64 g/cm
3
)
and in FL (1.57 g/cm
3
). The slaking siltation and
compaction of soil in CL and YL may have led to the high
bulk density. Ahukaemere et al. (2012) equally recorded
consistently higher bulk density in continuously cultivated
land than in oil palm plantation and organic matter content
have also been reported by Akamigbo (2000) and
Onweremadu et al. (2009) to influence soil bulk density.
Bulk density was inversely proportional to total porosity.
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., VOL 2, ISSUE 3
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Organic carbon (OC) was significantly (P 0.05) affected by land use type with FL (1.03%) being the highest,
followed by OPL (1.01%), YL (0.75%) and CL (0.39%). Fallow land (FL) and OPL had higher OC content
compared to YL and CL because of the continuous addition of soil organic matter (SOM) to FL and OPL and
subsequent mineralization of the added SOM. Ahukaemere et al (2012) recorded higher OC in fallow and oil palm
plantation soils compared to continuously cultivated soil. However Onyekwere et al. (2003) pointed out that, the low level
organic carbon in the cassava plot is a reflection of continuous cultivation and pedogenic processes.
Generally, pH was slightly acidic with the highest value of 6.60 recorded in FL, also the highest value of ECEC (7.56
cmol/kg) was recorded in FL (secondary forest) and the least (4.24 cmol/kg) in the cassava continuously cultivated land at
similar depths (Table 1). The FL recorded the highest nitrogen content of 0.25% at 0-15 cm soil depth; the CL (conti-
nuously cassava cultivated land) had the least mean percentage value of total nitrogen (0.03%). Soil properties decreases
consistently with increasing soil depth under all land use systems (Tables 2 & 3). The total nitrogen (TN) also correlated
positively with organic matter, bulk density and ECEC (Table 4). The result of the present study agrees with the findings
of Gbadegesin et al. (2001) who attributed the decrease in total nitrogen with increasing depth to declining humus with
depth.
Means with the same alphabet are not significantly (P≥0.05) different. OPL = Oil palm plantation, FL = Fallow land (secondary forest),
CL = Cassava cultivated land, YL=Yam cultivated land.
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., VOL 2, ISSUE 3
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Means with the same alphabet are not significantly (P≥0.05) different. OPL = Oil palm plantation, FL = Fallow land (secondary forest),
CL = Cassava cultivated land, YL=Yam cultivated land
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., VOL 2, ISSUE 3
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Means with the same alphabets are not significantly (P≥0.05) different. OP = Oil palm plantation, FL = Fallow land (secondary forest),
CL = Cassava cultivated land, YL=Yam cultivated land
Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., VOL 2, ISSUE 3
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BD=Bulk density, TP=Total porosity, OC=Organic carbon, ECEC=Effective cation exchange capacity
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, land use types influence soil properties. The studied sites especially cassava land and yam plot seem to
have low TN, OC, available P, ECEC and exchangeable bases. The result of the research findings also revealed that the
fallow (secondary forest) land had the highest content of organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus and effective
cation exchange capacity. This is attributed to the accumulation of litter on the surface of the soil which recycles nutrients
and makes them available in the soil. Therefore farmers may periodically fallow their lands to sequester organic matter,
stabilize soil aggregates, improves nutrient cycles for sustainable agricultural production.
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This study investigated the influence of land use types on soil quality and soil degradation. Four profile pits representing varying agricultural land use types were studied. The texture of the soils ranged from sand, loamy sand to sandy loam, with sand dominating the particle fractions of the soil. Bulk density of the soils increased with depth, varying from 1.27–1.50 g/cm3, with continuously cultivated land having the highest value. Soils were acidic, with pH values ranging from 4.27-5.56. The least organic matter content was recorded in continuously cultivated soils (10.68 g/kg). The total nitrogen contents of the soils were generally low (0.70-1.4 g/kg). Exchangeable sodium percent (ESP) was very low ranging from 1.60 to 4.27%. The CEC of the soil was dominated by Ca2+ and Mg2+ and ranged from 3.13 to 5.98 cmol/kg. From the study, it was ascertained that forest, oil palm plantation and fallow soils posses superior quality than those of continuously cultivated soil.
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This study aimed at identifying the major soil properties determining cassava production. The soil profile pits were dug along the catena. In each of the profile, soil samples were collected at each horizon based on the number of horizon(s) in the profile. Soil samples collected were air-dried, grinded and sieved prior to routine laboratory analysis. In addition, an estimated area of 10,000m 2 cassava plot was gridded into 10m 2 cells and 10 plots randomly selected for vegetative and yield analysis of cassava. The relationship between vegetative and yield parameters of the crops were related to the soil properties using Pearson's product Moment Correlation and Multiple regression analytical techniques. The results revealed that sand fraction are high with means of 88.16% and 81.98% surface and subsurface soils in the area. The soils are acid (pH range, 5.0-5.8) with low mean values of 5.25, effective CEC (6.41-6.33 cmol/kg -1), organic matter (0.34-4.80 percent), total Nitrogen (0.10-0.45%). The soil pH, organic matter, exchangeable K, effective CEC, exchange acidity, total nitrogen and pore space with multiple correlation coefficient (R) values of 0.51, 0.51, 0.50, 0.66, 0.63, 0.60, and 0.85 respectively, most strongly influenced cassava yield in the study area. The soil could be made productive in terms of crop cultivation if proper management system is advocated.
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