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FIRST PUBLICATION, JUNE 2013. The Bioscientist. Vol. 1

The Bioscientist. Vol. 1(1):47-53, May, 2013
Available online at http://www.bioscientistjournal.com
Ekwealor et al., 2013 Page 47

Response of Solanum lycopersicon to variation in selected physical soil properties under contrasting watershed management systems
Ekwealor, K.U., Nnabude, P.C. and Okeke, C.U.
1Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
2Dept. of Soil Science and Land Resource Management, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka


Effective management of watersheds particularly in erosion prone areas of Southeastern Nigeria is critical in sustaining the productivity of their agricultural potentials. The influence of selected soil physical properties of managed and unmanaged watersheds and slope gradients (I-34.8% gradient, II-29.6% gradient, III-23.8% gradient, and IV-0.52% gradient) on tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L) was studied at three soil depths, namely 0-15, 15-30, and 30-45cm. The experimental design was a 2x4x3 factorial arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and significant differences among treatment means were separated using Fisher’s least significant difference (LSD). Results showed significant variations in top soil depth, bulk density, particle size fractions and organic carbon under the two management schemes and four slope gradients. Top soil depths in the managed plots were 9.73, 7.66, 8.35 and 8.21cm in the four slope gradients respectively. The corresponding top soil depths in the four slope gradients of unmanaged plots were 1.93, 1.97, 2.93, 8.21cm respectively. Lowest bulk density (1.47Mg M-1) and highest organic C (1.253%) were obtained at slope III of the managed scheme. Clay content was highest (45%) in slope I of the unmanaged watershed and least in slope IV of the same treatment. Also plant height and number of fruits of tomato were significantly higher in the four slopes of the managed plot than the unmanaged plot. These findings clearly demonstrated the significance of proper design and management of our watersheds for sustainable exploitation and ecological stability.

Key words: Watershed, slope gradient, soil depth, physical properties, productivity.

© 2013. Journal of Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University,

P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Nigeria.

email: thebioscientist@unizik.edu.ng



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