A study to evaluate the effect of Ficus thonningii (Blume) on soil physicochemical properties was conducted in Ahferom district of Tigray, Ethiopia. For the soil physico-chemical property study, two factors (distance from the tree trunk and soil depth from the ground level) arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six replications was involved. The distance factor had three levels viz. at half of the canopy radius under the tree, canopy edge (radius of the canopy) and at three times canopy radius away from the trunk outside the canopy. The depth factor had two levels viz. surface (0 - 15 cm) and subsurface (15 - 30 cm) soil layers. Data were collected on soil physicochemical properties viz. soil texture, bulk density, moisture content, soil N, soil P and soil K, %OC, pH and electrical conductivity (EC). The collected data were subjected to ANOVA using the general linear model of SAS. Results of soil physicochemical properties revealed that except for soil texture, the studied soil physicochemical properties (soil bulk density, moisture content, soil N, soil P, soil K, %OC, pH, EC) were enhanced under F. thonningii canopy zone as compared to outside canopy zone. Hence, retention and planting of F. thonningii is recommended. The N and P stocks of soils under and away the canopy of F. thonningii are above the recommended range for optimum growth of most crops while K stock is rated low for optimal crop growth. Due to the deficient levels of soil K, sustainable crop production in the district requires supplementary application of K fertilizers.
Key words: Soil texture, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, carbon stock, bulk density.
Copyright © 2019 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0