Original Research Article

Year: 2015 | Month: 11 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 11 | Pages: 656-671

The Effects of Land Use on Soil Physiochemical Properties in Ughelli and its Environs. Delta State. Nigeria.

Martin E. Omene1, Joseph U. Chokor2, Moses O. Eyankware3

1Department of Animal and Environmental Biology Science, Faculty of Life Science, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria.
2Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural Science, University of Benin. Edo State, Nigeria.
3Department of Geology, Faculty of Science Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, P.M.B. 053. Nigeria.

Corresponding Author: Martin, E. Omene

ABSTRACT

The extent of deforestation and its effects on Nigeria soils cannot be over emphasised. The study was conducted in Omavovwe - Agbarha in Ughelli North LGA of Delta State in sole aim of assessing the variation in soil physicochemical properties in relation to change in land use type, depth and seasonal variation effect. In other to effectively undertake this study, Soils characteristics in three land cover areas, rubber plantation, farmland, and residential land use, were recorded and soil samples were analyzed. In each of the sample sites, ten soil surface samples at (0-15 cm) and (15 - 30cm) depth were collected in triplicates and in two seasons – dry and rainy season. The samples were dried at room temperature until constant weight is achieved and sieved using a 2-mm Sieve. Soil characterization and analyses were carried out using various Laboratory experiment and statistical methods. Deforestation was found to increase erosion rates and also it was discovered that the sand content increased with cultivation. The pH was acidic in all soils but they varied. Soil particle sizes were significantly different between the three soils types, rubber plantation had less sand which again relates to reduced erosion activity and high SOM. Rubber plantation had a high amount of pH, CEC, soil organic matter (SOM), total P, total K when compared with deforested land and farm land, although we had a similar case in total C, but it was so only for dry season. Deforestation significantly decreased soil pH, CEC, SOM, total P, total K, but increased bulk density and N. Exchangeable Ca, Na, Mg and K were significantly reduced in deforested land. It is therefore concluded that deforestation has significant negative effects on soil physicochemical properties and as such there is need to curb the trend.

Keywords: Physicochemical, Land use, Rubber Plantation, Resident Area and Farmland.

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