Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
Open Access
Journal Browser
Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2017, 5(2), 35-42
DOI: 10.12691/aees-5-2-2
Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Soil Quality in Relation to Landuse Effect in Akamkpa, Cross River State – Nigeria

Uquetan U. I.1, , Eze E. B.1, Uttah C..1, Obi E. O.2, Egor A. O.2 and Osang J. E2

1Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

2Department of Physics, Cross River University of Technology Calabar, Nigeria

Pub. Date: August 05, 2017

Cite this paper:
Uquetan U. I., Eze E. B., Uttah C.., Obi E. O., Egor A. O. and Osang J. E. Evaluation of Soil Quality in Relation to Landuse Effect in Akamkpa, Cross River State – Nigeria. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2017; 5(2):35-42. doi: 10.12691/aees-5-2-2


Soil quality variation in the tropical rainforest zone of Akamkpa upon conversion from the natural vegetation to other landuse types (natural forest, reforested lands, cultivated upland soils, swamps, soils around quarry sites, built-up areas and fallow lands) was evaluated with a view to ascertain the changes in physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soils and determine to what extent these changes affects soil quality degradation rates and vulnerability potential. Surface soil samples were collected from four points in each landuse type at the depth of 0-15cm and mixed to obtain a composite sample for routine laboratory analysis of selected soil quality parameters. The soils were generally sandy loam to clay loam on the surface and lateritic clay at the subsurface. Bulk density varied from 1.12-1.48mgcm3, soil porosity was higher in cultivated soil (78.83%) and lower in the swamps (25.22%) water holding capacity was highest in swamps (72.9%) and lowest in the built-up areas (33.6%). Aggregate stability index was lower in the cultivated soils (0.44) and higher in the natural forest (0.69). pH value varied from 4.2-6.0, organic carbon levels were higher in the natural forest (9.84gkg) and lowest in built-up areas (4.16gkg-1). Total nitrogen varied from 0.42-0.72gkg, the value was lowest in built-up areas and highest in the natural forest soils. C:N ratio varied from 8.63-13.12. these values were lowest in cultivated soils than natural forest and reforested soils. Available P was highest in fallow lands and lowest in built-up areas. Exchangeable bases show variability across landuse types with calclium, potassium, ECEC higher in natural forest soils. Al3+, SAR, Fe, Mn, Cu and S higher were in soils around quarry mines than any other landuse type. Reforested lands, cultivated uplands and fallow lands showed a slight variability in the selected chemical parameters. The biological properties were highly correlated with soil quality status in response to landuse change types. Total microbial biomass was higher in reforested lands and lowest in built-up areas, while active microbial biomas was higher in fallow lands. Higher rates of qCO2:T for the cultivated soils, qCO2:A rates was higher for fallow lands. Resuts revealed that built-up areas and soils around quarry mines has a significantly ower SDR/VP than any other landuse type. Percentage soil quality rating was higher in the fallow land (88.0%), forested lands and reforested lands (83.3%), cultivated uplands (66.0%) swamps (56%), soils around quarry mines (44%) and built-up areas (33%). The findings suggest that the soils under fallow are slightly capable to resist degradation. Management practices such as planting leguminous crops, increased fallow period, organic manuring, planting of fast growing vegetative species and returning crop residues to the soil as a way of building up used carbon stocks.

soil quality landuse change tropical rainforest soil degradation and vulnerability potential

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Abe, S. S., Buri, M. M., Issaka, R. N., Kiepe, P. & Wakatsuki, T. (2010). Soil fertility potential for rice production. Journal of Agricultural Research quarterly, 44(4):343-355.
[2]  Blair, G. J., Lefroy, R. D. B., Lisle, L. (1995). Soil carbon fractions based on their degree of oxidation, and the development of a carbon management index for agricultural systems. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 46:1459-1466.
[3]  Bohme, L., & Bohme, F. (2006). Soil microbiological and biochemical properties affected by plant growth and different long term fertilization. European Journal of soil biology.
[4]  Borman, H., Klassen. K. (2008). Seasonal and landuse dependent variability of soil hydraulic and hydrological properties of two Northern German Soils. Geoderma, 145:295-302.
[5]  Celik, I. (2005). Land-use effects on organic matter and physical properties of soil in a southern Mediterranean highland of Turkey. Soil tillage research. 83, 270-277.
[6]  Chaer, G. M., Fernandes, M. F., Myrold, D. M. & Bottonnley, P. J. (2009). Shift in microbial Community composition and physiological profiles across a gradient of induced soil degradation. Soil Science of American Journal 73:1327-1334.
[7]  Cross River Basin & Rural Development Authority (CRBRDA) (2006). Report on the Soil survey and fertility investigation of Obubra irrigation/drainage and flood control project. Nsecal Engineering Service – Calabar.
[8]  Deckers, J., Spaargaren, O. & Nachtergaele, F. (2001). Vertisols: Genesis, properties and soilscape management for sustainable development. In: Syers, J.K., Penning de Vries, F. and Nyamudeza, P. (eds): The sustainable management of Vertisols. CABI publishing.
[9]  Enwezor, W. O., Ohiri, A. C., Opuwaribo, E. E. & Udo, E. J. (1989). Review of fertilizer use in crops in Southeastern Nigeria fertilizer procurement and distribution, Lagos, Nigeria. p.420.
[10]  Essoka, P. A. (2008). Soil variation over basement complex rocks and slope position im a part of Central Cross River plain, Southern Nigeria. Ph.D Thesis, Department of Geography, ABU, Zaria.
[11]  Ezeaku, P. I. & Anikwe, M. A. N. (2006). A model for description of water and solute movement in soil-water restrictive horizons across two landscapes in South-East Nigeria. Journal of Soil Science. 171(6): 492-500 (USA).
[12]  Ezeaku, P. J. (2010). An Evaluation of the spatial variability of soils of similar lithology under different landuse types and degradation risks in a Savannah Agro-ecology of Nigeria. Proceedings of the Abdus Salam Internatioal Centre for Theoretical physics, 30 August – 10 September, 2010. Miramare, Frieste, Italy.
[13]  Ezeaku, P. J. (2010). An Evaluation of the spatial variability of soils of similar lithology under different landuse types and degradation risks in a Savannah Agro-ecology of Nigeria. Proceedings of the Abdus Salam Internatioal Centre for Theoretical physics, 30 August – 10 September, 2010. Miramare, Frieste, Italy.
[14]  Fernandes, M. F., Barreto, A. C., Mendes, I. C., & Dick, R. P. (2011). Short-term response of physical and chemical aspects of soil quality of a kaolinitic Kandiudalfs to agricultural practices and its association with microbiological variables. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 142:419-427.
[15]  Food and Agricultural Organization - FAO (1974). Soil map of the World. Vo. I. Legend. Paris.
[16]  Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (1976). Food and Agricultural Organization. Framework for land evaluation. FAO bulletin 32, Rome.
[17]  Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (1976).Food and Agricultural Organization. Framework for land evaluation. FAO bulletin 32, Rome.
[18]  Gochin, A. & Asgam, H. (2008). Landuse effects on soil quality indicators in North Eastern Iran. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 46:27-36.
[19]  Haghighi, F., Gorji, M. Shorafa, M., Sarmadian, F., Mohammadi, M. H. (2010). Evaluation of some infiltration models and hydraulic parameters. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research (INIA), 8(1):210-217.
[20]  Hazelton, P. & Murphy, B. (2007). Interpreting soil test results: what to do all the numbers mean? Published by CSIRO Publishing. Collingwood Victoria – Australia. http://www.publish.CSIRO.
[21]  Holland, M. D., Allen, V. G., Barton, D., & Murphy, S. T. (1989). Land evaluation and Agricultural Recommendations of Cross River National Park, Oban Division prepared by ODNRI in collaboration with WWF for Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Cross River State.
[22]  Igwe, C. A. & Obalum, S. E. (2013). Micro aggregate stability of tropical soils and its role on soil erosion hazard prediction. Advances in Agro-Physical Research. Stanislaw Grundas (Ed).
[23]  Isirimah, N.O., Dickson, A.A. & Igwe, C. (2003). Introductory soil chemistry and biotechnology. Port Harcourt: Osia International.
[24]  Islam, K. R. & Weil, R. R. (2000). Land use effects on soil quality in a tropical forest ecosystem of Bangladesh. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 79:9-16.
[25]  Islam, K. R.,& Weil, R. R. (2000). Land use effects on soil quality in a tropical forest ecosystem of Bangladesh. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 79:9-16.
[26]  Jenkinson, D.S. & Ladd, J.N. (1981). Microbial biomass in soil: measurement and turnover. p.415-471. In: Paul, E.A. & Ladd, J.N. (eds): Soil Biochemistry 5thedition. Marcel Decker, Inc, New York and Basel.
[27]  Jenkinson, D.S. & Ladd, J.N. (1981).Microbial biomass in soil: measurement and turnover. p.415-471. In: Paul, E.A. & Ladd, J. N. (eds): Soil Biochemistry 5th edition. Marcel Decker, Inc, New York and Basel.
[28]  Kang, B. T. & Okoro,E.G. (1970). Response of flooded rice grown on vertisols from Northern Nigeria to Zinc sources and methods of application. Plant and Soil 144: 14-25.
[29]  Kaschuk, G., Alberton, O. & Hungria, M. (2010). Three decades of soil microbial biomass studies in Brazilian ecosystems: Lessons learned about soil quality and indicators for improving sustainability. Soil Biol. Biochem. 42:1-13.
[30]  Killic, C., Killic, S. & Kocyigit, R. (2012). Assessment of spatio-variability of soil properties in areas under different land uses. Bulgarian J. of Agri. Sci., (18(5):722-732.
[31]  Kparmwang, T. & Malgwi, W. B. (1979). The genesis, classification and productivity limitations of sandstones soils in northwestern Nigeria. Proceeding of the 23rd annual conference of Soil Science Society of Nigeria. Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto. Nigeria.
[32]  Kyuma, K., Kosaki, T., & Juo, A. S. R. (1986). Evaluation of the Fertility of the Soils. In: A.S.R. Juo & Low (ed). The wetland soil and rice in sub-sahara Africa. Proceeding in International Conference of Wetland Soil Utilization for rice production in sub-Sahara Africa. IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, p.43-58.
[33]  Lal, R. (1990). Tropical soils: distribution, properties and management. Resource. Management and Optimization. 7:39-52.
[34]  Lal, R. (1994). Methods and guidelines for assessing sustainable use of soil and water resources in the tropics. SCS technical monograph. No. 21. Soil Management Support Services, Washington, DC, 78pp.
[35]  Martinez-Trinidad, S. Cotter, H. & Cruz Cardenas, G. (2012). The aggregate stability indicator to evaluate soils spatio temporal change in a tropical dry ecosystem. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition, 12(2):363-377.
[36]  Nardi, S., Cocheri, G., Dell’Agnola, G. (1996). Biological activity of humus. In: Piccolo, A. (Ed.) HUmic substances in Terrestrial Ecosystems. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp.361-406.
[37]  Nelson, D. W. & Sommers, L. E. (1982). Total Carbon, Organic carbon and organic matter. P. 539-579. In: Page et al. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. 2nd edition. Agronomy Monograph. 9. ASA and SSSA, Madison WI. Water Analysis. Sibon Books Ltd. Lagos – Nigeria.
[38]  Nwaka, G. K. & Kwari, J.J. (2000). The nature and properties of the soils of Jere Bowl near Maiduguri in Borno State. Journal of Agriculture and Resources 16:25-40.
[39]  Obi, M. E. (1982). Runoff and soil loss from an oxisol in South-eastern Nigerian under various management practices. Agricultural water management, 5:193-203.
[40]  Oguike, P. C. & Mbagwu, J. S. C. (2009). Variation in some physical properties and organic matters content of soils of coastal plain sand under different landuse types. World Journa of Agricultural Science, 5:63-67.
[41]  Osuji, G. E., Okon, M. A., Chukwuma, M. C. & Nwarie, I. I. (2010). Infiltration characteristics of soils under selected landuse practices in Owerri, Southeastern Nigeria. World J Agric. Sci., 6(3): 322-326.
[42]  Pando, M. M., Jurado, M., Manzano & Estrada, E. (2004). The influence of landuse on desertification process. Jour of Range Management. 57(3): 320-340.
[43]  Powlson, D. S., Jenkinson, D. S. et al. (1987). In Ayoubi et al. (2008). Responses of soil quality indicators to three crop rotation systems in paddy soils. Soils & Research, 2008.
[44]  Schimel, J., Baiser, T. C., Wallenstein, M. (2007). Microbial stress-response physiology and its implication for ecosystem function. Ecology, 88:1386-1394.
[45]  Six, J., Frey, S. D., Thiet, R.K., & Batten, K.M. (2006). Bacterial and fungal contributions to carbon sequestration in agroecosystems. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 70:555-569.
[46]  Smith, J. L., Halvorson, J. J. & Papendick, R. I. (1994). Multiple variable indicator Kriging A procedure for integrating soil quality indicators. In: Defining and assessing soil quality for a sustainable environment. SSSA Special Publication, 35:149.
[47]  Tate, P. L. (1995). Soil microbiology. New York: Willey Thomas, G. W. (1982). Exchangeable cations. In Page et al., (eds) Methods of soil analysis Part 2 ed. Agron. Monograph 9, ASA and SSSA, Madison, W. I.
[48]  Vargas-Gil, S., Meriles, J., Conforto, C., Figoni, G., Basanta, M., Lovera, E., & March, G.J., (2009). Field assessment of soil biological and chemical quality in response to crop management practices. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 25, 439-448.
[49]  Warri, S. P., McGill, W. B. , Haugen-Kozyra, K. L., Robertson, J. A., Thurstone, J. J. (1994). Improved soil quality and barley yield s with fababeans manure, forages, and crop rotation on Gray Luvisol. Canadian, J. Soil Sci. 74:75-84.
[50]  Williams, B. G., Greenland, D. J., Lindstrom, G. R., Quirk, J. P. (1996). Techniques for the determination of the stability of soil aggregates. Soil Science. 101:157-163.
[51]  Wright, S. F. & Anderson, R. F. (2000). Aggregate stability and glomalin in alternative crop rotation for the central Great Plains. Biol. Fert. Soils, 31:249-253.
[52]  Uquetan, U. I. (2013). Soil Quality Assessment for Lowland Rice Production in Obubra Local Government Area, Cross River State of Nigeria. Ph.D Desertation in Land Resource Evaluation and planning Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Calabar, Nigeria.