The Study of Soil Quality Indicators in Ibiono Ibom Area, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria
Keywords:Soil Quality Indicators, Critical Limits, Proper Management Approaches
Soil assessment of Ibiono Ibom area of Akwa Ibom State was carried out using morphological, physical and chemical properties. Undisturbed samples were collected using core cylinder samplers at different depths and disturbed samples were also collected from the genetic horizon of the soil profiles in Ikot User and Ibiaku Osuk areas. Soil profiles were described using the standard soil description in the USDA 1978/1999 system. Physical and chemical parameters were analyzed using standard laboratory procedures. Data obtained from the study were analyzed and results showed that saturated hydraulic conductivity ranged from 0.00 – 89.10 cm/hr. Bulk density, particle density and total porosity ranged from 1.20 – 1.66g/cm3, 1.50 – 3.07 g/cm3 and 19.8 – 56.7% respectively. Textures were generally sand to loamy sand. The impact of texture with bulk density and porosity enhances the performances of plants in the area and are indicative of moderate to high inherent soil quality. Most of the profiles have rapid permeability (mean of 17.03cm/hr and 48.88 cm/hr) and have relatively greater potential to support roots. pH rating varied from extremely acid (pH 4.3) to moderately acid (pH 5.7). Organic carbon content and total nitrogen were low having ranges of 0.0390 – 1.7356% and 0.01 – 0.14% respectively. The available phosphorus content ranged from 9.54 – 27.79 mg/kg and C:N ranged from 2 to 29. The implications of the narrow C: N ratios in some of the soils reflect high levels of microbial activity and rapid decomposition of organic matter with concomitant release of nutrient elements into soil solution for plant uptake.
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