Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Influence of Soil Textural Properties and Land Use Cover Type on Soil Erosion of a Characteristic Ultisols in Betem, Cross River Sate, Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Influence of Soil Textural Properties and Land Use Cover Type on Soil Erosion of a Characteristic Ultisols in Betem, Cross River Sate, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study on the influence of soil textual properties and land use cover type on soil erosion of a characteristics ultisols. Betem, Cross River State, Nigeria was conducted with the aim of determining the relationship between land use type and soil loss in the context of a characteristics ultisols. Soil samples were manually collected from the respective land use types with the aid of soil auger at the depth of 0-15cm for the laboratory analysis of particle size distribution while data on sediment yield deposit were obtained through the use of sediment traps or dishes placed at the foot of the respective slopes. The result of the textural characteristics revealed that particle size distribution showed large proportion of sand. Thus, sand ranged from 72-78% with a mean of 75.0%, silt ranged from 11-12% with a mean of 11.0% while clay ranged from 12.0% - 16% with a mean of 14.0%. The result showed that sand was the dominant particle fraction and any soil that is characterized by huge sand proportion can be vulnerable to erosion perturbation. The various land cover types have revealed their potentials in reducing erosion perturbation. The result of sediment yield obtained under these land use types revealed the following ranges and means: bare land surface ranged from 40-360g with a mean of 182.2g, cassava plot, ranged from 30-238 with a mean of 107.6g, bush fallow ranged from 4-150g with a mean of 30.0g; secondary forest plot ranged from 2-48 with a mean of 15.0 grams while primary forest plot has a range of 1-45 with a mean of 13.4g respectively. The study revealed that it is the unguided use of land that exposes soils to the direct effect of weather elements hence the major cause of soil erosion in the area. The study, therefore suggests an appropriate land or soil management system that can guarantee adequate protection of soil and other variable components of the environment.

Keywords: land use cover, soil erosion, soil textural characteristics

1. Introduction

Erosion of soil by wind or water has some important impact on the overall sustainability of various components of the environment; perhaps, the main source of most ecological disaster, particularly in the tropical and semi-arid regions of the world. Soil, slope gradient, rainfall and land cover type can combine (or in isolation) to cause soil loss through water erosion in the tropics, especially in the face of obvious alteration of the original landscape. Scherr (1995) identifies land use change as consequences of human activities. He pointed out that a huge proportion of natural landscape has been altered adversely owing to human activities. The effect of these activities is the main cause of the frequent ecological problems.

In Nigeria, studies have shown that human activities are the main cause of soil erosion (Olatunji, 2002; Madu, 2004; Lorkua & Ikyernum, 2004). This is because they contribute significantly to the alteration of land use a situation that predisposes soils to the vagaries of nature. Several authors have reported that land use and topography have great influence on soil erosion (Carda et al., 1995; Imeson et al., 1998; Seeger & Ries, 2008). Studies have equally shown that soil physical parameters, particularly, textures can be used in determining soil susceptibility to erosion perturbation (cammeraat & Imeson, 1998), surface characteristics can as well be used for the said purpose (Mackel & Walter, 1911).

The impact of erosion are enormous, they include the lowering of soil production capacity (Bou Kheir, 2008) hence, the main cause of low crop yield, a situation that requires higher input to bring the land back to shape (Quinton & Catt, 2004). Others include sediment yield in streams and reservoirs, reduction of water quality status and the deposition of toxic materials on farmland (Poesen & Hook, 1997).

In Cross River State, Nigeria where Betem belongs, over 802 gully erosion sites were identified in 1992 by the United Nation Development Programe (UNEP). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.