Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.12, Issue 3, 2006; Page No.(399-403)

EFFECTS OF LAND MANGEMENT CHARACTERISITICS ON MOISTURE CHARACTERISITICS OF SOME SEMI-ARID SOILS IN NIGERIA

S.A. Mashi and M.M. Alhassan

Abstract

ABSTRACT An important way through which land management practices int I uence soil moisture characteristics is modifying soil texture and organic matter conditions, which are the major colloids that determine in, ,Ist u re retention in soils. In this article, the effects of eight land management pro( tices on some soils ,11 \ semi arid region were investigated by assessing the relative influencing elle( ts of 0,1(.1-) of sand, silt, , Id \ and organic matter of soils under eight land management practices on the variationc ii the characteristics of the soils. Using soil data obtained from eight different experimental plots, thc resu ts analysis of variance, students t-test, simple correlation and step wise multiple regre, nalvtica techniques, it was found out that both the available moisture content and water-held 1 ng capacity significantly decline with increases in the intensity of soil disturbances in the area, with the least disturbed soils appearing to have much higher levels of moisture conservation and greater wo ter retention potentials than the other soils. Similarly, it was found out that while the available moisture t lower t the upper soil horizon, water-holding capacity is higher. The results also indicate that only tN etl0 iyne iiiitter and clay influences very significantly the level of the two moisture parameters in the clrco t1-1‘ idc tors, organic matter alone accounts for about 70% of the explanation to the variation t t'.\ in•ters. It was thus concluded that management practices that ensure adequate organ il n1,1 t Lir i.t.t.n,1 nce in the area, such as long fallows, improved agroforestry practices, composed and intensive manuring, are needed to ensure effective moisture conservation in soils of the study area.

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