Profile Distribution of Soil Physicochemical Properties under Two Land Use Systems in Abakaliki, Southeastern Nigeria

Nwite James Nte


Five profile pits were dug respectively in forest land use (20 m x 10 m) and continuous cropping land use (20 m x 10 m) to study profile distribution of physic-chemical properties of soil. Core and auger samples were collected from each horizon (0-15, 15-30, 30-45, 45-60 cm and 60-90 cm). The soil data were analyzed and result showed that textural class ranged from sandy clay loam (SCL) in forest land use to sandy loam (SL) in continuous cropping land use. Bulk density, total porosity, macro-porosity, micro-porosity, aggregate stability, mean weight diameter and hydraulic conductivity ranged from  a mean of 1.42 g cm-2, 46, 29, 21, 19.5, 51% and 46 cmhr-1 to 1.48gcm-3, 45, 38, 21,17.5, 1.57% and 43 cmhr-1 for forest land use and continuous cropping land use, respectively.   Soil pH, N, OC, P, Ca, Mg, K, Na, and CEC varied from a mean of 5.0, 0.21, 2.6%, 18.1 mgkg-1, 2.12, 1.61, 0.31, 0.14 and 4.17 cmolkg-1 in forest land use to 4.6, 0.11, 1.9%, 16.5 mgkg-1, 2.12, 1.62, 0.12, 0.13 and 3.98 cmolkg-1 in continuous cropping land use. The soil physicochemical properties consistently decreased within the profiles in the two land use systems. Aggregate stability (AS), hydraulic conductivity, total N, exchangeable K, Na and CEC at 60 to 90 cm depth were within limiting values for soil productivity in the two land use systems. Sound evaluation of physicochemical properties of soil is advocated for higher and sustainable productivity in Ebonyi State Nigeria.

Keywords: Continuous cropping, Forest Land use, Profile distribution, Soil Physicochemical Properties

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