AUTHOR : OSUAKU, SIMEON (MSc)
DEPARTMENT : SOIL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
AFFILIATION : FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI
The study was conducted to investigate the effect of different land use practices [namely, virgin forest land (VF), continuously cultivated land (CC), bush fallow land (FA), oil palm plantation land (PP) and bare fallow (BA)] on soil erosion. The layout was a factorial experiment arranged in completely randomized design with the various land use practices as the main plot treatments and the time as the sub-plot treatments. The treatments were replicated three times. Soil samples collected from 0 – 15 cm depth from the various land use practices were air dried and sieved with 2 mm sieve. Thereafter, they were repacked in 100 cm x 50 cm x 15 cm soil bins based on their various in-situ bulk density conditions. The soils were placed under laboratory rainfall simulator and subjected to a constant rainfall intensity of 90 cm/hr for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 minutes. After each rainfall event, the soil was allowed to dry in the open for eight days to assume the initial dry condition. Runoff and soil loss were measured after each rainfall event.
Results show that runoff and soil loss were lowest in virgin forest land and highest in the bare fallow. The land use practices were significantly (P< 0.01) different from each other in terms of their run-off and soil loss values obtained. The influence of land use practices on runoff and soil loss followed the order BA > CC > PP > FA > VF. Runoff and soil loss increased with increase in the duration of rainfall event in all the soils. Runoff had a positive significant correlation with bulk density and porosity. Soil loss had a positive significant relationship with bulk density and porosity (r = 0.9615; P< 0.01). Conversely runoff had a negative significant correlation with soil organic matter and mean weight diameter. Also soil loss had a negative significant relationship with soil organic matter and mean weight diameter ( r = -0.8926; P< 0.01).
Results of this work have shown that different land use practices have varying effects on runoff and soil loss.
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