Changes in soil nutrient levels under four Teak plantations and their corresponding natural vegetations in Ghana
- 1University of Education, Winneba, College of Agriculture Education, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Education, Ashanti, Ghana
- 2Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Department of Agroforestry, Kumasi, Ghana
- 3University of Education, Winneba, College of Agriculture Education, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Education, Ashanti, Ghana
- 4University of Education, Winneba, College of Agriculture Education, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Education, Ashanti, Ghana
- 5University of Education, Winneba, College of Agriculture Education, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Education, Ashanti, Ghana
- 6University of Education, Winneba, College of Agriculture Education, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Education, Ashanti, Ghana
Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 6, Issue (6), Pages 5-12, June,2 (2017)
Though teak (Tectona grandis) plantations have been found in some cases to bring better soil conditions, other studies have found soil deterioration in teak plantations. The current study was therefore conducted to assess the impact of teak (Tectona grandis) plantation on some soil nutrients in four plantations of age, 7, 9, 12 and 17years in Ghana at Bedomase, Asamang, Ejura and Nsuta, respectively. Soil samples were randomly picked (0 -15cm) from the teak plantations and their adjacent natural vegetations; organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, available phosphorus, total potassium, exchangeable potassium, pH and electrical conductivity were determined using standard laboratory methods. Soil organic matter, total nitrogen, total and available phosphorus, total and exchangeable potassium, and electrical conductivity were higher in the 7 year old teak plantation than in the adjacent natural vegetation. With the exception of total phosphorus, total potassium and available phosphorus, all in the 12 year old plantation where the values were marginally higher in the teak plantation soil than its adjacent natural vegetation, all the other soil chemical properties were significantly higher in value in the natural vegetation than its adjacent 9, 12 and 17 year old teak plantations. The observed trend was assigned to the lower canopy closure, higher undercover vegetation and litter contribution in the 7 year old teak plantation which might have led to higher values in the assessed parameters than its adjacent natural vegetation in contrast to the older teak plantations (9, 12 and 17 year old teak plantations). Soil pH values between the teak plantations and their adjacent natural vegetations were not significant. The observed significant differences in soil nutrient values among teak plantations and among the natural vegetations could be attributed to differences in factors such as microclimate, soil biological community, litter quality, topography and nutrient status across the study areas. Generally the older teak plantations recorded lower values of soil nutrients than their adjacent natural vegetations as compared to the younger teak plantation. The current study has added to the observation that soil nutrients become deteriorated with age under teak plantations.
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