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Fertility Indicators and Selected Micronutrient Contents of Floodplain Soils Under three Land Use Types in Ohaji-Egbema, Southeastern Nigeria

C. M. Ahukaemere
S. N. Obasi
C. C. Obasi
J. E. Awah
V. C. Owuala


This study was conducted in Ohaji-Egbema, Southeastern Nigeria where we investigated the fertility status and micronutrient contents of the soils. Five (5) representative soil samples were collected from (three) 3 different Land use types namely fallow Land, cassava farms and oil palm plantations at a depth of 0-30cm. Samples for bulky density were collected using core samplers. The samples were air-dried, meshed and sieved using a 2mm sieve and were subjected to standard routine laboratory analysis. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means were separated using the least significant difference at (p = 0.05) probability level. The mean sand fraction ranged from 886 on cassava farm to 952 gkg ¹ in fallow land. The mean silt and clay content ranged from 16 in fallow land to 42 gkg-¹ in cassava farms, 32 gkg-¹ (fallow and oil palm) to 52gkg-¹ (cassava) respectively. The bulk density of the soils ranged from 1.04 to 1.12gcm-³, the mean bulk density value of the soils did not differ significantly (p=0.05). Chemical properties analyzed showed that the mean pH range from 5.84 in fallow Land to 6.49 in cassava land. From the result, the pH values of the land use types did not differ significantly (p = 0.05). Organic carbon and organic matter ranged 0.97-1.19 and 1.67- 2.05 g/kg. Nutrient index and fertility rating results indicated that the location of study was generally low in their fertility status. The mean concentration of micronutrients in the study location results showed that Fe ranged from 0.8526mg/kg in fallow land, 2.3054mg/kg in cassava farms and 2.0992mg/kg in oil palm plantation land. However, Fe was significantly different among the three land use types, iron was below the critical limit (4.0) for the three land use types. Zn ranged thus; 0.0638 (fallow), 0.0525 mg/kg (Cassava and oil palm); Cu distribution in the land use types were; 0.0918 (fallow), 0.0548 (Cassava) and 0.0638 mg/kg (oil palm). Zn and Cu were also below their respective critical limits of 0.6 and 0.2 in the study area. The low level of these micronutrient content s may be due to the high sand content of the studied soil which inhibited their availability in the floodplains of Ohaji-Egbema.