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Effects of Topography on Soil Properties and Their Implications for Agricultural Land Use in Ipinu-Oju, Benue, Nigeria

Assessing soil properties and providing information on their variability is critical to understanding the potential of soils and their response to agricultural management. This study investigated the variations in soil morphological, physical and chemical properties along a toposequence in Ipinu-Oju, Benue State. A total of 16 soil samples were collected along altitudinal transect ranging from 160m to 201m. The transect was divided in four slope positions: Crest, upper, middle, and toe slope positions, each with different floristic composition and structure. The collected soil samples were analyzed for morphological, physical and chemical properties using standard field and laboratory procedures. The laboratory results were then analyzed using ANOVA. The results showed a strong relationship between topography and certain soil properties. A transition from yellowish to grayish soil color was observed from the upper slope to the lower slope areas. In addition, soil depth and structure improved downslope. Topography significantly influenced chemical and physical properties, including sand, clay, silt, pH, total nitrogen, organic carbon and matter, available phosphorus, potassium, sodium, exchange acidity, cation exchange capacity, and base saturation. Based on the USDA Soil Taxonomy and the World Reference Base, soil units I, III, and IV were classified as Arenic Haplustalfs and Eutric Lixisols, while soil unit II was classified as Eutric Haplustalfs and Eutric Leptisols. These differences in soil characteristics not only affect crop selection, but also present unique management challenges. Upland soils face issues such as surface runoff, erosion and water retention as their main management problems, while lowland soils do not have significant management problems. Over all, this study highlights the importance of considering soil variability and the influence of topography on soil properties. Understanding these variations can help in making informed decisions regarding soil management and agricultural practices.

Topography, Topo Sequence, Soil Morphology, Soil Physical and Chemical Properties, Land Use, Soil Classification

Peter Omenka Ogbu, Idoga Shaibu, Paul Ogbaji Okwe. (2023). Effects of Topography on Soil Properties and Their Implications for Agricultural Land Use in Ipinu-Oju, Benue, Nigeria. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 12(6), 172-179.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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