Evaluating the Characteristics of the Meander Belt Soils of the Niger Delta, Southeastern Nigeria

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The morphological, physical, chemical and pedological properties of eight pedons representative of the four physiographic units in the Meander Belt of the Niger Delta were studied. The soils were classified and the constraints to their agricultural and engineering uses evaluated. The soils were generally poorly drained, having an Aquic moisture regime, mottles and Fe and Mn concretions. They belong to the Entisol and Inceptisol USDA soil taxonomy orders. Soil textures were generally clayey, except for the pedons of the levee crest with sandy loam textures. Bulk density, particle density and total porosity were generally low. Total nitrogen and available phosphorus were also low. The cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation were high. Organic matter was low to moderate. Total elements of the clay were generally high. The soils have poor physical conditions. The high clay content, and the presence of 2:1 lattice clay minerals could account for the deterioration of the major east-west interstate road linking southeast and southwest Nigeria that passes through the area. Optimum use of the soils for agriculture would depend on good land evaluation and efficient soil water management.

Keywords: Niger Delta; Nigeria; meander belt; soil characteristics

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9493.00125

Affiliations: 1: Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Benin City, Nigeria, 2: Soil/Crop Science Dept., Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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