An Assessment Of Landscape Segments Suitable For Agriculture In Kerang Volcanic Area Of Jos Plateau, Nigeria
Sohotden Christopher Daniel, Vivan, Ezra Lekwot, Ali Andesikuteb Yakubu, Shehu Bako Makarau
Index Terms: Soil, Landscape, Segments, Soil properties, Agriculture.
Abstract: This study was carried out to investigate the landscape segments suitable for agricultural purpose in a volcanic land catena of Kerang Area on the Jos Plateau. A reconnaissance survey of the study area was carried out and three different slope segments were identified, a total of 41 surface soil samples were taken from the three segments using a stratified systematic sampling. These soils were then analyzed for the physical and chemical properties. The result of the analyses revealed that the organic matter, total nitrogen, soil PH and exchangeable (Ca Mg) decline down slope, however, potassium (K) and sodium (Na) increase down slope. Co-efficient of variation of the soil properties for the three different slope segments showed low variability for the upper slope (crest and shoulder), exception being that phosphorus (43.10%) and potassium (41.10%) exhibited moderate variability. At the middle slope, the co-efficient of variation exhibited by soil properties is predominantly moderate, exception being that sodium (75%) varies at high proportion at this slope segment. At the lower slope, majority of the soil properties exhibited low variability. On the other hand, total nitrogen: available phosphorous and potassium have values of co-efficient of variation 23.10%, 65.60% and 23.10% respectively. This indicates that available phosphorus exhibited high variability while total nitrogen and exchangeable potassium have intermediate variability. The between or over all co-efficient or variation for the soil properties are predominantly moderate for most variable except PHH2O (11.80%) and PH Cad2 (10.60%) that have low variability and phosphorous (78%) has high variability. Differences in the degree of variation of soil variables from one segment to another can be attributed to soil erosion as affected by slope, nature of soil parent materials and soil management technique. The study also revealed that some of the properties determining soil fertility (total Nitrogen, Available Phosphorus, organic matter, soil PH and exchangeable cation) decreased from the upper part to the lower part of the landscape, with the exception of potassium, (K) and sodium (Na). Recommendations were put forward on how best to use the landscape of the study for agricultural production.
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