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Aggregate stability of four soils as evaluated by different indices

Nweke I A*,1 and Nnabude P C2

1Department of Soil Science Anambra State University, Nigeria
2Department of Soil Science and Land Resources Management, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria

Corresponding Author Email: nwekeson@hotmail.com (Nweke I A)

Page No: 246 - 252

Keywords: Aggregate stability, Geometric mean-weight, Diameter and Mean-weight diameter

Received - February 16, 2015; Revision - March 02, 2015; Accepted - May 23, 2015 Available Online - June 19, 2015

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18006/2015.3(3).246.252

Abstract

In present study, aggregate stability of four soils viz Entisol, Ultisol and two Inceptisols were evaluated using different indices. Soil samples from the depth of 0-25cm were collected from cultivated and adjacent fallow lands at the four different sites located, at Nsukka area of southeastern, Nigeria. The soil samples were air-dried at room temperature and then were separated into five aggregate fractions i.e. 5-2mm, 2-1mm, 1-0.5mm, 0.5-0.25mm and > 0.25mm. Aggregate stability assessments were performed according to the methods of mean-weight diameter and geometric mean-weight diameter which were determined by both dry and wet sieved fractions. The results of the study showed that aggregation of the cultivated soils were less stable than the fallow soils. Furthermore, the aggregation of the cultivated soil disintegrated faster than those of the fallow soils when they came in contact with water. The mean-weight diameter (MWD) result of the soil aggregates showed that cultivation reduced the aggregation stability of Nsukka Entisol for dry sieved samples and Inceptisol at Eha-Amufu for wet sieved samples. The mean-weight diameter of wet sieved aggregates though, generally not significant showed that percentage increases due to cultivation were 6.3, 3.2 and 2.9 percent for Entisol at Nsukka, Ultisol at Nsukka and Inceptisol at Ikem respectively and 50.0 percent relative decrease for Inceptisol at Eha-Amufu. Geometric mean-weight diameter (GMD) result of both dry and wet sieved samples showed that cultivation reduced the aggregation stability of Nsukka Entisol, Ultisol, Inceptisol at Eha- Amufu and no effect on Inceptisol at Ikem.

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