Related Information

Follow us

Agricultural Studies, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr  2018, Pages 30-39; DOI: 10.31058/ 10.31058/

Changes in Soil Physico-Chemical Properties in Fallow Farmland in the Rainforest Zone of Southern Nigeria

, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Apr  2018, Pages 30-39.

DOI: 10.31058/

Anthony Inah Iwara *1 , Labaran Daniel Abalaka 2

1 Department of Geography & Environmental Management, University of Abuja, Nigeria

2 Department of Architecture, Kaduna State University Kafanchan Campus, Nigeria

Received: 1 January 2018; Accepted: 20 February 2018; Published: 13 April 2018

Download PDF | XML   | Views 221 | Download 133


The study examined changes in soil physico-chemical properties in fallow communities in the Rainforest Zone of Southern Nigeria. Fallow vegetation of 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and 10-year, were studied. The quadrat approach of sampling was employed to collect surface soil samples (0 – 15cm) from six plots of 10m x 10m across the four fallow communities. Results showed that the mean contents of organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) and available phosphorus (Av. P) substantially increased in the 3-10 years fallows presumably due to the increase in litter accumulation following the establishment of woody vegetation. PCA result identified soil nutrient, soil acidity and particle size composition as soil properties that progressively changed across the fallow soils. The study suggested that farmers should be encouraged to allow woody trees on their farmlands to speedy up soil fertility restoration.


Fallow Vegetation, Soil Physicochemical Properties


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Publications (UK). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


[1] Styger, E.; Fernandes, E. C. M. Contributions of Managed Fallows to Soil Fertility Recovery. The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 2005, 426 -427.
[2] Offiong, R. A.; Iwara, A. I. Effects of fallow genealogical cycles on the build-up of nutrients in soils of the Cross River rainforest, south-southern Nigeria. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management, 2011, 4, 4, 84 – 95.
[3] De Almeida, C. L.; de Araújo, J. C.; Costa, M. C. A.; de Almeida, A. M. M.; de Andrade, E. M. Fallow reduces soil losses and increases carbon stock in Caatinga. 2017.
Available online: (Accessed: 20/12/ 2017)
[4] Aweto, A. O. Shifting cultivation and secondary succession in the tropics. UK: MPG Books Group. 2013
[5] Onijigin, E. O.; Fasina, A. S.; Oluwadare, D. A.; Ogbonnaya, U. O.; Ogunleye, K. S.; Omoju, O. J. Influence of fallow ages on soil properties at the forest-savanna boundary in south western Nigeria. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 2016, 10, 1, 1-12.
[6] Christanty, L. “Shifting cultivation and tropical soils: patterns, problems and possible improvements”, In. Marten, G. G. (Ed) Traditional agriculture in southeast Asia. 1986, 226–240.
[7] Ogban, P.I.; Obi J.C. The relation between natural fallow and soil quality in Akwa Ibom State, Southeastern Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Agriculture, Food and Environment, 2010, 6, 3&4, 34– 43.
[8] Nye, P. H.; Greenland, D. J. The soil under shifting cultivation. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Farnham Royal, UK. 1960.
[9] Awale, R.; Emeson, M. A.; Machado, S. Soil organic carbon pools as early indicators for soil organic matter stock changes under different tillage practices in inland pacific Northwest. 2017. Available online: (Accessed: 21/12/ 2017)
[10] Oden, M.I.; Okpamu, T.A.; Amah, E.A. Comparative analysis of fracture lineaments in Oban and Obudu Areas, SE Nigeria. Journal of Geography and Geology, 2012, 4, 2, 36 – 47.
[11] Walkley, A.; Black, I. A. An examination of the Detjareff Method for Determining Soil Organic Matter and a Proposed Modification to the Chromic Acid Titration Method. Soil Science, 1934, 37, 29-38.
[12] Iwara, A.I.; Ogundele, F. O.; Ibor, U. W.; Deekor, T. N. Multivariate analysis of soil-vegetation interrelationships in a south-southern secondary forest of Nigeria. International Journal of Biology, 2011, 3, 3, 73 – 82.
[13] Bremner, J. M.; Mulvaney, C. S. Nitrogen in: Page AI, Miller RH, Keeney DR (Eds.); The method of soil analysis: Agronomy. Monogram, Madison: ASA. 1982.
[14] Brady, N. C.; Weil, R. R. The nature and properties of soils. New Jersey, Prentice-Hall. 2002.
[15] Bouyoucos, G. J. Hydrometer method for making particle size analysis of soils. Soil Science Society of America Proceedings, 1926, 26, 464-465.
[16] Foth, H. D. Fundamentals of soil science. 8th Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2006.
[17] Osemwota, O.I. Effect of abattoir effluent on the physical and chemical properties of soils. Environ Monit Assess, 2010, 167, 399–404.
[18] Agbede, O. O. Soil husbandry: life for national food security and economic empowerment. An Inaugural Delivered on March 19th, 2008 at Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria. 2008
[19] Bandel, A. V.; James, B. R.;,John, J.; Meisinger, J. J. Basic principles of soil fertility II. Soil Properties Available online:
[20] Aweto, A. O. Secondary succession and soil fertility restoration in south-western Nigeria: soil andvegetation interrelationships. J. Ecol., 1981, 69, 3, 957-963.
[21] Dolle, M.; Schmidt, W. Impact of tree species on nutrient and light availability: evidence from a permanent plot study of old-field succession. Plant Ecol., 2009, 203, 273 - 287.
[22] Aweto, A.O.; Dikinya, O. The beneficial effects of two tree species on soil properties in a semi-arid savanna rangeland in Botswana. Land Contamination & Reclamation, 2003, 11, 3, 339-344.
[23] Adepetu, J.A.; Adetunji, M.T.; Ige, O.U. Soil fertility and crop nutrition. Jumak Publishers. 2015.
[24] Onijigin, E.O.; Fasina, A.S.; Oluwadare, D.A.; Ogbonnaya, U.O.; Ogunleye, K.S; Omoju, O.J. Influence of fallow ages on soil properties at the forest-savanna boundary in south western Nigeria. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 2016, 10, 1, 1-12.
[25] Apal. Soil test interpretation guide. Available online: (Accessed :17/09/14)
[26] Brallier, S.; Harrison, R.B.; Henry, C.L.; Dongsen, X. Liming effects on availability of Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn in a soil amended with sewage sludge 16 years previously. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 1996, 86, 195–206.
[27] Rieuwerts, J.S.; Thornton, I.; Farago, M.E.; Ashmore, M.R. Factors influencing metal bioavailability in soils: preliminary investigations for the development of a critical loads approach for metals, Chemical Speciation & Bioavailability, 1998, 10, 2, 61-75.
[28] Krstic, D.; Djalovic, I.; Nikezic, D.; Bjelic, D. Aluminium in acid soils: chemistry, toxicity and impact on maize plants. 2012. Available online: (Accessed: 19/11/17)
[29] Snelder, D. J. Soil properties of Imperata grasslands and prospects for tree-based farming systems in Northeast Luzon, The Philippines. Agroforestry Systems, 2001, 52, 27–40.
[30] Peverill, K. I.; Sparrow, L. A.; Reuter, D. J. Soil analysis: an interpretation manual. Catena, 2000, 39, 301–303.
[31] Hassan, A.M.; Murabbi, A.; Victor, A. O. Depth Distribution of Available Micronutrients under Different Land-use Systems. Direct Res. J. Agric. Food Sci., 2016, 4, 5, 81.

Related Articles

  • There is no record!