Int. J. Biosci.21( 1), 160-168, July 2022
Apart from the provision of fruits, exotic trees are capable of restoring soil fertility within rainforest environment. This study characterised soil exchangeable cations (ECs), CEC, pH and BS under Persea gratissima, Mangifera indica and Terminalia cattapa within Nigerian rainforest. Samples of soils were collected under 15 stands of each exotic fruity tree (EFT) species and rainforest (Rf) using core sampler, and analysed in the laboratory using standard techniques. Data were statistically analysed using the mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, analysis of variance and post-hoc test. Soil elements varied under the EFTs and the (Rf). The ECs variation pattern within the topsoil appeared same for magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+) where Rf > T. cattapa > M. indica > P. gratissima; but differ from that of calcium (Ca2+) which is T. cattapa > M. indica > P. gratissima > Rf respectively. Within the subsoil, K+ and Na+ showed similar patterns where Rf > T. cattapa > P.gratissima > M. indica, while Ca2+ and Mg2+ patterns differed. The differences in soil variables under EFTs and the Rf were significant at the 0.05 confidence level. The CEC under EFTs are < 10meq/100g, while that of the Rf is > 10meq/100g. While the saturations of hydrogen under EFTs indicate that soils underneath can be productive, the EFTs have the capacity for sustainable restoration of ECs to the rainforest soil, with frequent liming thus their growth should be encouraged.
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