The variability of soil properties related to vegetation cover in Nnewi, a fast growing urban-industrial town, was studied to underscore the factors that predispose the soil to erosion menace. Twelve soil samples were purposively collected and analyzed to determine the soil properties. The results of soil properties analysis showed marked coefficient of variability ranging from low, moderate, high and very high variability for the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. This is as a result of poor vegetation cover associated with land use pattern. Positive and negative correlation coefficients were established within and between soil properties and vegetation cover. Principal components analysis identified soil organic matter content, soil moisture content, sand content of the soil, soil micro-organisms and cation exchange capacity as the main soil properties that explain 91.2% of the impact of vegetation cover on variability of soil properties. It is therefore advised that strict adherence to land use plans be enforced to reverse the trend towards unstable soil properties and high susceptibility of the soil to erosion menace in Nnewi.
Key words: Erosion, land use, soil properties, variability, vegetation cover.
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