The study evaluated the fertility status of some land use types in Orlu area of Imo State using elemental ratio. Soil samples were collected from three land use types namely; plantain plantation, oil palm plantation and cassava. A total of 18 samples were collected. Six soil samples were randomly collected from each land use at depths of 0 - 15 cm and 15 - 30 cm. Routine analyses were conducted and Ca/Mg and K/Mg were used to determine the fertility status of the soils. The result of physical properties indicated that mean sand content of the soils ranged from 820.1 - 910.1 g/kg. The mean silt content of the soils ranged from 13.3 – 56.7 g/kg while the clay content ranged from 76.5 – 136.5 mg/kg. Bulk density was highest under oil palm (1.43 g/cm3) and lowest under cassava (1.10 g/cm3). The results of the chemical properties showed that mean pH varied from 5.0 – 5.7. Soil organic carbon was highest under plantain (16.9 g/kg) and lowest under oil palm (9.3 g/kg). Ca/Mg ratio was highest under plantain (1.78) and lowest under cassava (1.20). The K/Mg was highest under oil palm (0.14) and lowest under plantain (0.02). Ca/Mg ratio of the soils indicates possible Ca deficiency and phosphorus inhibition. The K/Mg ratio of the soils shows non inhibition of the uptake of magnesium Ca/Mg ratio varied highly under plantain and cassava but had medium variation under palm oil. There was significant negative relationship between K/Mg and Mg, ECEC, Ca, base saturation (BS) and available phosphorus (-0.85, -0.85, - 0.86, -0.77, and -0.47) respectively.
Key words; Elemental ratio, soil fertility, land use, Imo state, southeastern Nigeria
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