Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/aees Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
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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

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
soil quality landuse change tropical rainforest soil degradation and vulnerability potential

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