Nitrogen Status of Soils of Selected Land-uses of Two Cropping Systems in the Humid Tropical Rainforest, Southeastern Nigeria

B.U. Uzoho, I.I. Ekpe, C. M. Ahukaemere, B.N. Ndukwu, N.H. Okoli, F.A. Osisi, C.M.Chris- Emenyonu


Nitrogen status of soils provides information about the capacity of soils to sustain crop productivity and maintain environmental safety. Nitrogen status of soils of selected land-use types of perennial and annual cropping systems were evaluated in the humid tropical rainforest zone, southeastern, Nigeria. Experimental design was a 6 x 3 factorial replicated 3 times in a randomized complete block setup. Total N, NH4-N, NO3-N and organic N were determined. Also correlation between selected soil properties and various N forms were estimated. Nitrogen forms significantly (LSD 0.05) decreased in the order Oil palm > cocoyam > cashew > rubber > cassava > yam, oil palm > cocoyam > rubber > cashew > yam > cassava, oil palm > cashew > rubber = cocoyam > yam > cassava and oil palm > cashew > rubber > cocoyam > yam > cassava for NH4-N, NO3-N, organic N and total N respectively and with each higher in the surface 0-15 cm than the other soil depths. Mean soil concentrations of land uses under perennial and annual cropping systems were 3.69 and 2.23 mg kg-1 NH4-N, 8.56 and 5.50 mg kg-1 NO3-N, 0.20 and 0.17 g kg-1 organic N and 0.22 and 0.19 g kg-1total N respectively, with the former better than the later. Nitrogen status of the various land use types correlated with soil clay, silt, OM, available P, ECEC and pH. In general, N status varied with land uses under perennial and annual cropping systems and low indicating the need for external N input for crop sustenance and inability for environmental pollution.

Keywords: Nitrogen, Land use, Cropping Systems, Humid Tropics and Southeastern Nigeria

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