Conversion of Forests to Arable Land and its Effect on Soil Physical Properties in Enugu State South Eastern Nigeria

  • UC Osakwe
  • CA Igwe
Keywords: Forest Conversion, Cultivation, soil properties, low-input agriculture

Abstract

Population increase and low input agriculture in south eastern Nigeria has resulted to forest conversion to arable land. A study was conducted in six locations; Ugbo-lyOkpara ( L1), Ugbo-nabo (L2) , Ugwogo-Nike (L3) , Iyi-Ukwu (L4) , Edem( L5) and Ngwo (L6) in Enugu State, southeastern Nigeria to determine the changes in selected soil physical properties ( particle size distribution, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, macro porosity micro porosity and total porosity) as a result of converting forests to arable land..Cultivation resulted to significant (P ≤ 0.05) increase in the sand fractions and bulk density. Result showed decline in silt fraction, hydraulic conductivity, macro, micro and total porosity by 4, 17.5, 38, 26, 19 and 21% respectively. Interaction of location and land use indicated that 67% of the locations were adversely affected by cultivation while 33% of the locations indicated improvement in soil properties in favor of cultivation expressed by a significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower bulk density in Ugbo-Okpara , higher micro and total porosity in Ugbo-nabo , higher clay content in Ugbo-Okpara and Ugbo-nabo, while 19 % and 13 % higher silt content were observed in Ugbo-Okpara, and Ugwogo- Nike respectively.The study revealed that the magnitude and direction of change was location specific.

Keywords: Forest Conversion, Cultivation, soil properties, low-input agriculture

Published
2014-05-12
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 0189-1731