Algal Compost Effects on Soil Nutrient Status and Aggregate Stab
An experiment was conducted in the Soil Science laboratory of Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, to investigate the effect of algal compost on soil nutrient status indices such as soil pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter, total nitrogen and available phosphorus as well as soil structural stability. The experiment was a 3 X 3 factorial in a CRD and soil samples were collected from 0-20cm depth of a sandy loam soil from the University’s Western farm. The treatments applied were composts from combinations of alga and poultry manure (AC) and poultry manure alone (PM) and a control (C) with amendment rates of 0%, 10% and 20% respectively. Each treatment was replicated three times. Results show that the composted amendment influenced the soil nutrient status and structural stability at p< 0. 001. The influence on these properties increased as the rate of amendment and incubation time increased. The algal compost was more effective in improving soil structural stability, nutrient N content and cation exchange capacity of the sandy loam soil compared to the compost of poultry manure alone, while a compost from PM alone was more effective in improving the soil nutrient C and P as well as soil activity. There was a highly positive correlation between the soil structural stability index and soil nutrient status for the soil used in this study.
Key words: Algal compost, structural stability, soil activity, nutrient N, P, C