West African Journal of Applied Ecology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae The focus of the <em>West African Journal of Applied Ecology</em>is on ecology, agriculture and water pollution. It aims to serve as an avenue for lecturers and researchers in West Africa to publish their work. <p>Other websites related to this journal are <a title="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" href="http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/" target="_blank">http://apps.ug.edu.gh/wajae/</a>.</p> Ecological Laboratory Unit, University of Ghana en-US West African Journal of Applied Ecology 0855-4307 Copyright is owned by the journal Location and Land use effects on Soil Carbon Accretion and Productivity in the Coastal Savanna Agro-ecological Zone of Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202673 <p>Land use type, climate and soil properties are major determinants of soil carbon storage and productivity, especially in low-input agriculture. In this study, we investigated the interactions among these factors at four (4) locations, namely Accra Metropolis, Ga West, Ga East and Shai Osudoku, within the Coastal-Savannah agro-ecological zone of Ghana. The land use types were maize-based cropping, cassava-based cropping, woodlot/plantations and natural forests. The impact of these on soil productivity at a given location was assessed in terms of soil carbon stocks and a Soil Productivity Index (<em>SPI</em>). The <em>SPI</em> is a composite value derived from routine soil properties such as: soil texture, available water capacity, pH, cation exchange capacity, soil organic carbon, available P, exchangeable K, potentially mineralizable nitrogen, and basic cations, among others. Principal component analysis was used to select soil properties that were used to estimate <em>SPI</em>. The results showed that the locations differed with respect to rainfall regimes and soil types. Locations with slightly heavier soil texture and relatively higher rainfall regimes (Ga East and Shai Osudoku) had significantly higher soil carbon storage and <em>SPI</em> values than the lighter soil textured locations (Accra Metropolis and Ga West). With regards to land use, forest had significantly higher soil carbon storage and <em>SPI</em> than all the other land use types, irrespective of location. The order of soil carbon storage and <em>SPI</em> were: forest &gt; woodlot/plantation &gt; cassava &gt; maize. It was observed that though the Accra Metropolis location hosted the oldest forest, soil carbon was still low, apparently due to the lighter soil texture. We concluded that the soil productivity restorative ability is an interactive effect of carbon management (land use), soil texture and other properties. This interaction hitherto has not been adequately investigated, especially in low-input agriculture.</p> F. M. Owoade S. G. K. Adiku C. J. Atkinson D. S. MacCarthy S. K. Kumahor G.O. Kolawole Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 1 13 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Participatory Approach to Variety Selection Using Soybean Production in Ghana as a Model https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202689 <p>In the past, soybean varieties released in Ghana were selected primarily for grain yield potential, earliness, seed viability and low phosphorus tolerance. However, most of these varieties are not resistant to pod shattering, resulting in high grain losses. In order to identify traits farmers consider most important when deciding which soybean varieties to adopt, a participatory variety selection approach was used to evaluate varieties in two locations (Nyankpala and Wa) in the Guinea savanna zone of Ghana during the 2010 and 2011 cropping seasons. Twelve medium and 14 early maturing varieties were evaluated. Farmers’ variety selection criteria and ranking did not differ across locations and gender groups. Additionally, four most preferred traits by farmer (grain yield, pod shattering, earliness and pods per plant) out of 12 traits were considered very important by farmers at both locations. In some instances, farmers’ preference for the best varieties was not exactly in line with researchers’ selection. Best four ranked varieties (TGx 1799-8F, TGx 1834-5E, TGx 1445-3E and TGx 1844-22E) were preferred by farmers because they possess positive attributes such as higher grain yields, resistance to pod shattering, numerically more pods per plant and enhanced ability to control <em>Striga hermonthica</em>. These varieties were later released as Suong-Pungun, Afayak, Songda and Favour, respectively for commercial production throughout Ghana. Consequently, soybean breeders should incorporate farmers’ preferred traits in selecting varieties in the breeding process in order to increase likelihood of adoption of the varieties.</p> S. S. J. Buah N. N. Denwar R. A. L. Kanton J. M. Kombiok Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 14 30 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Sodium chloride stress induced differential growth, biomass yield, and phytochemical composition responses in the halophytic grass <i>Aeluropus lagopoides</i> (L.) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202690 <p>This study evaluates the growth and biochemical changes in <em>Aeluropus lagopoidesi</em> (L.) Thawaites. induced by different sodium chloride (NaCl) concentrations to understand the effects and tolerance of the plant to salinity regimes. <em>A. lagopoide</em>s stolons were grown on Hoagland media in three replicates. At four weeks after planting, 0, 100, 300, and 500 mM of NaCl were added to the media as treatments, and this was repeated at 2-week intervals. Data were collected and analyzed on growth and biological yield of the plants at 3, 6, and 9 days after the final salt stress. Also, sodium, potassium, and calcium ions present in the root and shoot of the treated plants were determined, while the number of salt crystals extruded from the leaf was counted. The amounts of proline, amino acids, and total soluble sugars in response to salt concentrations were evaluated. There was a significant variation in the growth of <em>A. lagopoides</em> in response to the NaCl concentrations. Generally, a concentration of 500 mm adversely affected plant growth and biomass yield. The concentration of sodium ions in the tissue of treated plants increased with NaCl concentration, while the concentration of potassium and calcium ions decreased. Total amino acid and proline in the plant tissue increased with salinity, while soluble sugar increased from 3-6 days but declined remarkably on the 9th day after NaCl applications. The study demonstrated salt stress tolerance in <em>A. lagopoides</em> and suggested its potential as a biotechnological model plant for salt tolerance improvement of economically important crops in high-salinity zones.</p> D. A. Animasaun S. Oyedeji G. G. Joseph P. A. Adedibu R. Krishnamurthy Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 31 40 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Contributions of sawn wood and herb sellers from Ibadan metropolis, southwestern Nigeria to forest restoration https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202692 <p>The study investigated contributions of sawn wood and herb sellers in Ibadan metropolis to forest restoration. Data were obtained through personal interview and administration of semi-structured questionnaire on 100 sawn wood sellers and 100 herb sellers in five selected markets for each category. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that 59% of the wood sellers were males and 41% were females whereas 29% of the herb sellers were males and 71% were females. Highest percentage (40%) of sawn wood sellers and herb sellers (46%) had their ages between 41-50% years. Majority (40%) of the sawn wood sellers had secondary education while majority (38%) of the herb sellers had primary education. Timber ranked 1<sup>st</sup> with 89% as a benefit derived from forests by sawn wood sellers while for herb sellers, medicine ranked 1<sup>st</sup> with 98%. Also, 59% and 97% of the sawn wood sellers and herb sellers respectively have never planted trees before. Tree species planted by 41% of sawn wood sellers who have planted trees before were <em>Gmelina arborea, Tectona grandis</em> and <em>Terminalia ivonrensis</em>. Identified constraints regarding tree planting in order of importance were non-availability of seeds, lack of funds and non-availability of land. The participation of both sawn wood sellers and herb sellers in forest restoration is still very low therefore there is need for more awareness among general public on benefits derivable from forests. This would likely encourage more responsible use of forests and consequently aid involvement of more people in forest restoration.</p> O.O. Olayode O.O. Aluko Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 41 51 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Neem as a cost-effective and potent biopesticide against the diamondback moth <i>Plutella xylostella</i> L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and the cabbage webworm <i>Hellula undalis</i> F. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202694 <p>Cabbage is an important cash crop to the resource-poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and offers a good source of vitamins and minerals. The diamondback moth (DBM), <em>Plutella xylostella</em> L. and the cabbage webworm, <em>Hellula undalis</em> F. are major pests causing significant losses to brassica crops worldwide. During the major and minor seasons of 2015, an experiment was carried out at the University of Ghana Soil and Irrigation Research Centre (SIREC), Kpong to determine the effect of some pesticides (synthetic insecticides-chlorpyrifos and lambda-cyhalothrin, botanicals - hot pepper fruit extract, aqueous neem seed extract, local insecticidal soap - ‘alata samina’ and water as control) in controlling the diamondback moth and the cabbage webworm on cabbage. Cabbage seedlings were transplanted onto 3m x 3m plots, and plots were labelled by randomly assigning treatments to them. The experiment was laid out in a complete randomised block design, consisting of six treatments in three replications. Treatments were applied weekly, two weeks after transplanting and data on the population of the diamondback moth and the cabbage webworm, multiple head formation were collected weekly. At the end of each season the resulting yield was assessed for marketability, and cost benefit analysis carried out to determine the cost: benefit ratio. The results revealed that the highest population of the diamondback moth was recorded in the plots sprayed with chlorpyrifos and lambda-cyhalothrin, with neem recording the least number of diamondback moth and cabbage webworm populations. The highest marketable yield of 13.82t/ha and 28.36t/ha was recorded for the neem sprayed plots with a cost: benefit ratio of 1:48.6 and 1:137.1 for both seasons, respectively, followed by pepper extract (3.92t/ha, 1:10.5) for the major season and ‘alata samina’ (8.86t/ha, 1:36.4) for the minor season. The aqueous neem seed extract can be used by resource-poor farmers in Ghana as the most cost-effective biopesticide against the diamondback moth and the webworm on cabbage.</p> K. O. Fening E. E. Forchibe K. Afreh-Nuamah Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 52 63 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Efficiency of common washing treatments in reducing microbial levels on lettuce in Mali https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202695 <p>Lettuce is one of the most cultivated vegetables (eaten raw) in Mali with a percentage of 69.4 amongst leafy vegetables and 30.4 of all vegetables. Vegetables consumed raw, particularly lettuce, are sources of foodborne pathogens. This study was conducted to assess bacterial contamination of unwashed lettuce and the efficiency of disinfecting it with tap water and varying concentrations of some chemical disinfectants: bleach (0.00285, 0.00570 and 0.00855 ppm), potassium permanganate (170, 340 and 510 ppm), vinegar (0.00285, 0.00570 and 0.00855 ppm) and common salt (500, 1000 and 1500 ppm) based on the three consecutive washing protocol recommended for vegetables in Mali. Lettuce samples were randomly selected from farms irrigated with untreated river water within communities five and six in Bamako. Lettuce leaves were exposed to low concentration of the chemical disinfectants at 15 min, intermediate at 10 min and high at 5 min. A bleach (0.00285 ppm)/vinegar (0.00285 ppm) combination disinfection was also tested at 15 min. Tap water, bleach, potassium permanganate, vinegar and common salt reduced faecal coliform populations by 1.3–2.9, 1.5–3.0 and 1.9–3.5 log CFU/100 g, at 5, 10 and 15 min, respectively. Disinfection treatment using bleach (0.00285 ppm) was found to be more effective than other disinfectants at all contact times. All the disinfectants reduced <em>Escherichia coli</em> populations by 2.0–2.8 log CFU/100 g on lettuce and completely eliminated <em>Salmonella spp</em>. at all treatment contact times. Disinfection treatment using bleach/vinegar combination at 15 min also reduced faecal coliform populations on lettuce by 2.8 log CFU/100 g and completely eliminated <em>E. coli</em> and <em>Salmonella spp</em>. All chemical disinfectants including tap water at 15 min reduced faecal coliform populations below the undesirable ICMSF (2011) level (1000 CFU/100 g wet weight). These could contribute to reduce the health risk associated with the consumption of lettuce in Mali.</p> S. Traoré E. W. Cornelius F. Samaké G. Essilfie A. H. Babana M. Bengaly A. Koné H. Cissé M. A. Acheampong Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 64 74 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Two Pan Soils of the Lower Volta Basin: Proposals for improving their Classification according to Soil Taxonomy and the World Reference Base https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202697 <p><em>Kpejeglo series</em> and <em>Agawtaw series</em> are two closely related pan soils in the Lower Volta Basin of Ghana. They have previously been classified variously according to Soil Taonomy and the FAO/World Reference Base (WRB) systems without positively identifying the subsurface hardpan horizons. The hardpans have generally been described as compact clay loam or claypan horizons. This study was designed to 1) identify the hardpan horizons and 2) classify the soils according to the latest Soil Taonomy and the WRB classification systems. Both soils had argillic and natric horizons. Bulk density of the pan horizons was higher than that of the horizons above them. Air-dried peds of the pan did not slake in water and 1M HCl or 40 NaOH. Up to 50 reduction in the size of the peds was only observed after alternating acid and alkali soaking for more than 5 hours. Peds from the lower limits of the hardpan of <em>Kpejeglo</em> Pedon 2, however, slaked in 1M HCl. The slaking characteristics show that the hardpan horizon could be a duripan, which possibly occurred with a petrocalcic horizon. Both soils were classified under Soil Taonomy as Typic Duraqualfs. Natric horizon did not reect in the classification because it is not presently provided at the subgroup level of Duraqualfs. We propose that due to the agronomic importance of natric horizon, Natric Duraqualfs would be more appropriate classification of the soils. The soils were also classified as Gleyic Solonetz (Duric) under the WRB system. Although Gleyic Solonetz places more emphasis on natric horizon than on petroduric horizon, the latter could be more limiting to plant growth. It would therefore be important if petroduric horizon reects in the classification of the soils. Presently, under Solonetz, duric is only recognized as a supplementary qualifier so we propose that duric be elevated to a principal qualifier and should key out before gleyic so that the soils could be appropriately classified as Duric Solonetz.</p> V.K. Avornyo J.K. Amatekpor T.A. Adjadeh Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2020-12-22 2020-12-22 28 2 75 85 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Comparative Biodiversity Assessment of Weed Species in Monocropping Plantations of University of Ilorin, Nigeria https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202701 <p>The present study investigates the weed species diversity in four plantations of university of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria using quadrat method. The survey revealed two major life cycles (annual and perennial) and recorded a total of 88 weed species belonging to 32 families. Four species (<em>Azadirachta indica</em>, <em>Daniellia oliveri</em>, <em>Desmodium tortuosum</em>, and <em>Tridax procumbens</em>) were common in all the surveyed plantations while the family Fabaceae was the most dominant. The abundant weed species analysis showed a high importance value index and were more adapted to the plantations. Diversity analysis revealed high species richness in the sugarcane plantation. The non-canopy nature of the plantation, soil structure as well as ability to coexist with many other species may underscore the reasons for this pattern of diversity. The evenness and similarity indices between and across the plantations were generally low, thus, indicating varying diversity. As a result of the recorded variation in weed composition between and across the plantations, the study has provided an insight on the pattern of weed diversity in the studied plantations. The study recommended that the most abundant weed species populations be checked for the plantations to thrive. Finally, there is an urgent need to conserve weed species that are not only rare in abundance but also showed great social and economic values.</p> U.B. Olayinka S. B. Adeyemi K. A. Abdulkareem G. S. Olahan A. A. Lateef T. Garuba A. A. AbdulRahaman Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 86 105 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Chemical composition, <i>in vitro</i> dry matter digestibility and Gas production of four browse species and their combinations used as feed for small ruminants https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202713 <p>Browse species as complete feed for ruminants is uncommon. This may be due to low dry matter (DM) and high condensed tannins (CT) contents limiting its potential to influence weight gain. Drying however improves DM content and reduces CT levels and its astringency. The objective of this study was to determine chemical composition, <em>in vitro</em> parameters and to evaluate the potential benefits of feeding small ruminants on dried browse leaves and their combinations. The browse species were <em>Albizzia lebbek</em>, <em>Gliricidia sepium</em>, <em>Moringa oleifera</em> and <em>Millettia thoningii</em>. Rumen fluid was obtained from two fistulated forest type wethers for the <em>in vitro</em> evaluation. The DM, crude protein (CP), ash, CT, neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), cellulose and lignin were 866-916 g/kg, 101-303 g/kg DM, 74.7-200 g/kg DM, 0.9-1.3 g/kg DM, 202-552 g/kg DM, 205-520 g/kg DM, 94-381 g/kg DM and 105-192 g/kg DM respectively. The organic matter digestibility (OMD), <em>in vitro</em> dry matter digestibility (IVDMD), <em>in vitro</em> gas production (IVGP), metabolisable energy (ME) and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) of the four browse species and their combinations recorded were 314.9-721.6 g/kg DM, 515.4-721 ml/g DM, 139-602 ml/g DM, 314.6-1406.9 ml/g DM and 3.1-14.4 ml/g DM respectively. There were positive associative effects shown by the combined browse leaves between IVDMD and IVGP. The regression analyses revealed that relationships between IVGP and CP and IVDMD and CT and all relationships between OMD, SCFA, ME and IVGP were significant (p&lt;0.05). All the browse species and their combinations had IVDMD values of more than 500 g/kg DM and low gas production. The high CP and ash contents, low CTs, low to moderate fibre components, moderate to high IVDMD and low IVGP of the four browse species and their combinations make them potentially valuable as feed resources for small ruminant production.</p> F.O. Sarkwa O. R. Madibela T. Adogla-Bessa W. N. Mphinyane J.S. Perkins E.C. Timpong-Jones Copyright (c) 2020 West Journal of Applied Ecology 2020-12-22 2020-12-22 28 2 106 117 Assessing Municipal Solid Waste Management Practices and Challenges in the Techiman Municipality, Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202705 <p>Managing waste efficiently is essential for building sustainable, livable and healthy communities but this remains a challenge for many municipal governments due to limited municipal budget and other logistical challenges. Such challenges result in ineffective waste collection and disposal. However, identifying the challenges associated with municipal solid waste management often lead to developing solutions to mitigate the problem. This paper assesses the waste management practices and challenges within the Techiman municipality, the regional capital of the Bono East Region. By sampling residents’ perceptions and experiences it was observed that households and patrons were dissatisfied with Techiman’s Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM). Statistically the per capita per day rate of waste generation was 0.48kg/ per capita/per day, being higher than Ghana’s municipal waste generation of 0.40 kg/per capita/per day. Lack of collection of waste from the transfer stations to the landfill sites has resulted in about 67 heaps of uncollected waste in the municipality. The results show that lack of source separation and recycling, broken down trucks, low participation of private sector in waste collection, non-compliance of by-laws, poor road infrastructure leading to the landfill site, and inefficient landfill site have contributed to the waste problem in the municipality. Resorting to source separation, educating the public on waste management bye laws, increasing private sector participation and establishing engineered landfill sites can substantially contribute to sustainable Municipal Waste Management in the Techiman Municipality.</p> I. Appeaning Addo O. Alhassan S. Abokyi S. Kutor Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 118 131 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Seasonal Variation in the Selection and Use of Habitats by Large Herbivores at Mole National Park, Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202707 <p>There is scanty information on herbivore habitat ecology at Mole National Park (MNP) despite the fact that understanding habitat interactions, such as habitat selection and use, by large herbivores is fundamental for its management. Our aim was to determine the effects of seasonal variation on habitat selection and use by large herbivores at MNP, Ghana. Eight large herbivores were counted within transects, located in six habitat types, over one year and Jacobs’ selectivity index was used to calculate their selectivity of the habitat types. Six of the eight herbivores maintained their preferred habitats throughout all seasons or showed unpredictable seasonal pattern of habitat selectivity, but a seasonal change was clear for elephant (<em>Loxodonta africana</em>) and buffalo (<em>Syncerus caffer</em>). Elephant shifted from riverine forest to swamp habitats in the dry season but preferred both riverine and swamp in other seasons. Buffalo selected and used Anogeissus in all seasons but used swamp in the rainy season and riverine forest in the fire season. Kob (<em>Kobus kob</em>), warthog (<em>Phacochoerus africanus</em>) and bushbuck (<em>Tragelaphus scriptus</em>) appeared to minimise predation risk by avoiding the open savanna, waterbuck (<em>Kobus defassa</em>) preferred swamp in all seasons, whereas roan antelope (<em>Hippotragus equinus</em>) and hartebeest (<em>Alcelaphus bucelaphus</em>) avoided swamp. All eight herbivores were less selective in the rainy season and more selective in the fire season. Shrinkage of habitat resources by fire increased selectivity, while post-fire regrowth in the rainy season increased forage resources and reduced selectivity. Of the factors that influenced the seasonal patterns of herbivore selectivity, only fire can be addressed by National Park management policies, particularly to determine which habitat types should be the focus of fire control operations.</p> K. B. Dakwa I. C. Cuthill S. Harris Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 132 139 10.4314/wajae.v28i2. Prevalence, incidence and severity of a new root rot disease of cowpea caused by <i>Macrophomina phaseolina</i> (Tassi) Goid in Northern Ghana https://www.ajol.info/index.php/wajae/article/view/202708 <p>Cowpea is an important economic crop in northern Ghana. Following reports of a new cowpea root rot, disease in northern Ghana (Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions), surveys were conducted in 2016 and 2017 with the aim of determining the causal organism, prevalence, incidence and severity of the disease across northern Ghana under rain fed and irrigated conditions. Seventeen locations were surveyed and symptomatic plants were taken to the Plant Pathology laboratory in CSIR- Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Nyankpala for pathogen identification. The disease was prevalent in all the locations surveyed. There was no significant difference (P &gt; 0.05) between disease incidence and severity (1‒9 scale) under rain fed and irrigated conditions for each year. Disease incidence and severity were however significantly different (P &lt; 0.05) amongst locations surveyed under both rain fed and irrigated production for 2016 and 2017. Under rain fed conditions for 2016, Nyankpala recorded the highest incidence (43.8%), with Feo recording the lowest (17.8%). For the same period, Manga recorded the highest severity (4.3) with Silbelle recording the least (2.1). Under dry season cultivation for 2016, Asumsapeliga recorded the highest disease incidence (44.5%) with Silbelle recording the lowest (11.4%). Sakpari, however, recorded the highest disease severity (3.8) with Feo recording the lowest for the same period. Under rain fed conditions for 2017, disease incidence was highest in Nyankpala (47.7%) and lowest in Lawra (8.7%). For the same period, however, Manga and Yendi recorded the highest severity (4.3) with Lawra recording the lowest (1.6). Under dry season cowpea production for 2017, Sakpari (64.8%) recorded the highest incidence and Silbelle (7.0%) recording the least. Disease severity for the same period was highest in Nafkluga (4.2) and lowest in Silbelle (2.3). Morphocultural characteristics and pathogenicity test confirmed Macrophomina phaseolina as the causal organism of the cowpea root rot disease.</p> S. Lamini E. W. Cornelius F. Kusi A. Danquah P. Attamah Z. Mukhtaru J. F. Awuku G. Mensah Copyright (c) 2020 West African Journal of Applied Ecology 2021-01-13 2021-01-13 28 2 140 154