Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Impact of gabions and mattresses on selected soil properties in Ikot Akpan ravine, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria


Ifechukwude Israel Ahuchaogu,   Godwin Akpan Usoh, Micaiah James Umana

Recieved Date: 2022-02-03, Accepted Date: 2022-03-20


Land degradation is a major challenge to agriculture in Nigeria. A lot of soil conservation practices have been put in place to reclaim degraded landscapes. The effectiveness of these measures in improving soil properties have not been really studied in Nigeria, particularly in Akwa Ibom State. This research assessed the effect of soil and water conservation structures (gabions and mattresses) in Ikot Akpan ravine on selected soil properties. A total of 12 soil samples were collected from the conserved (plots treated with gabions and mattresses) and non-conserved (plots with no treatment) landscapes. Soil tests were conducted to determine the state of soil properties. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistics using a general linear model at α= 0.05 was used to evaluate whether a significant difference exists between the conserved and non-conserved landscapes. The results showed that sand (80.84%, 81.07%), silt (13.70%, 11.41%), and pH (6.51) were positively affected by the conservation structure. However, bulk density (2.33 g/cm3 , 2.38 g/ cm3 ) and electrical conductivity (0.12 dS/m) were negatively impacted by the conservation structure. Other soil properties such as clay (7.71%, 7.79%), available phosphorus (30.12 mg/kg, 44.81 mg/kg), total nitrogen (0.05%), moisture content (5.48%, 5.68%), organic carbon (1.97%, 1.95%), effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) (13.85 cmol/kg, 15.76 cmol/kg) and exchangeable bases were not affected by the conservation practice. Use of heavy earth-moving machinery should be minimized in the construction of soil and water conservation structures. Standard and up-to-date laboratory methods should be used for soil testing. The conservation structure was very effective in controlling soil erosion and reducing soil loss. Soil conservation practices should be encouraged to conserve the soil as an invaluable resource.


Land degradation, soil properties, conserved, non-conserved, conservation structures

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2022
Volume: 20
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 96-103

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