keywords: Characterization, floodplain, physiographic, survey, toposequence, variability
The study was carried out on a floodplain formed by Okitankwu River, Uratta South-eastern Nigeria with the aim of characterizing and studying the variability of soils of the area for optimal management and utilization. A transect survey technique was used to align the physiographic positions at an equidistance of 100 m. Three pedons were dug on each of the physiographic positions which consist of the upland, terrace and backswamp. Samples were collected and subjected to routine analysis. Data generated was analyzed statistically using coefficient of variation. The pH (H2O) indicated that soils were moderately acidic with ranges of 5.37¬¬- 5.48 at upland, 5.38 - 5.50 at terrace, and 5.39 – 5.93 at backswamp. However, the soil horizon of each physiographic position show that soils were generally low to moderate in cation exchange capacity (2.80 – 6.80) cmol/kg, low to moderate in percent base saturation (24.19 – 65.22) % and low in organic matter content (0.15 – 3.41 %). The coefficient of variation (CV) showed that sand contents and pH values had low variation in all the physiographic positions. High variation in organic carbon and total nitrogen were recorded in all the physiographic positions, while total exchangeable acidity, effective cation exchange capacity and base saturation indicated moderate variation in all physiographic positions. These results provide a baseline data of Uratta floodplain soils. The information obtained from this study indicates that the soils need adequate management for a sustainable utilization.
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