Litterfall nutrients and the soil nutrients under three indigenous tree species in the Nigerian rainforest Region

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/05/2022
Views (420) Download (49)

Litterfall nutrients and the soil nutrients under three indigenous tree species in the Nigerian rainforest Region

Ndakara Ofudjaye Emmanuel, Eyefia Oghenerukevwe Alexander, Atuma Ifeanyi Morrison
Int. J. Biosci.20( 5), 37-44, May 2022.
Certificate: IJB 2022 [Generate Certificate]


The study was conducted in the 3 senatorial districts in Delta State (Delta North, Delta Central and Delta South). From each senatorial district, 5 stands of each indigenous species of tree were selected, while 5 rainforest control plots were established from neighbouring rainforest cover of ≥ 80 years in age. Thus, samples of litterfall and soil were gathered from 15 trees, each from the indigenous species and the control plots, respectively. Two soil layers of 0-15cm and 15-30cm depth were determined under the trees, from where soil samples were collected, using a core sampler, while litterfall was gathered from March 2019 to February 2020 using litter traps. Standard laboratory procedures were adopted to analyse the samples collected. Descriptive, ANOVA and correlation statistics were employed to analyse the data using the 15.0 version of SPSS. The research statistically correlates litterfall nutrients with soil nutrients under isolated indigenous stands of Terminalia superba, Irvingia gabonensis and Newbouldia laevis trees in the Nigerian rainforest region. Results show that soil nutrients, litterfall nutrient contents and returns significantly differed among the tree species at a 5% confidence level, while soil nutrients correlated with litterfall nutrients positively. Since the isolated indigenous trees can add nutrients to rainforest soil, thereby improving its nutrients and sustaining its productivity, their incorporation into the agro-forestry practice as farm trees by farmers is recommended. This has implications for forest and environmental conservation.


Adedeji OH. 2008. Nutrient Cycling in an Agro-ecosystem of Rubber Plantation in Ikene, south western Nigeria; Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Geography, University of Ibadan.

Augusto L, Achat DL, Jonard M, Vidal D, Ringeval B. 2017. Soil parent material-A major driver of plant nutrient limitations in terrestrial ecosystems. Global Change Biology 23, p 3808–3824.

Bernhard-Reversat F. 1977. Recherches sur les variations strationelles des cycles biogeochimiques en foret ombrophile de Cote d’ Ivoire. Cah ORSTOM, Ser. Pedol., 15, p 175-189.

Eguakun FS, Job M. 2018. Statistical relationship between leaf litter and tree growth characteristics of Tectonagrandis species. World News of Nature Sciences 18, p 252-261.

Ekanade O. 2007. Cultured Trees, Their Environment and Our Legacies. An Inaugural Lecture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Kazumichi F, Makoto S, Kaoru K, Tomoaki I, Kanehiro K, Benjamin LT. 2018. Plant–soil interactions maintain biodiversity and functions of tropical forest ecosystems. Ecological research 33, p 149–160.

Kitayama K, Tsujii Y, Aoyagi R, Aiba S. 2015. Long-term C, N and P allocation to reproduction in Bornean tropical rain forests. Journal of Ecology 103, p 606–615.

Krishna MP, Mahesh M. 2017. Litter decomposition in forest ecosystems: A review. Energy, Ecology and Environment 2, p 236-249.

Lanuza OC, Fernando Z, Rakan A. 2018. Litterfall and nutrient dynamics shift in tropical forest restoration sites after a decade of recovery. Biotropical 50, p 491-498.

Londe V, De Sousa HC, Kozovits AR. 2016. Litterfall as an indicator of productivity and recovery of ecological functions in a rehabilitated riparian forest at Das Velhas River, Southeast Brazil. Tropical Ecology 57, p 355-360.

Loumeto JJ. 2003. Litterfall and nutrient return in tropical rainforest in the Chaillu area (Southwest Congo). Ecosystems and sustainable Development 64, p 1237-1249.

Muoghalu JI, Akanni SO, Eretan OO. 1993. Litterfall and nutrient dynamics in a Nigerian rainforest seven years after a ground fire. Journal of vegetation science 4, p 323-328.

Ndakara OE. 2011. Litterfall and Nutrient Returns in Isolated Stands of Persea gratissima (Avocado Pear) in the Rainforest Zone of Southern Nigeria. Ethiopia Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 4, p 42-50.

Ndakara OE. 2012. Litterfall and Nutrient Returns in Isolated Stands of Terminalia catappa Trees in the Rainforest area of Southern Nigeria. Ethiopia Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 5, p 1-10.

Ndakara OE. 2018. Effect of Isolated stands of Persea gratissima on organic matter and cation Exchange capacity of the rainforest soil in Southern Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Science and Environment 16, p 109-118.

Ndakara OE. 2019. Influence of exotic trees on physical properties of soil in tropical rainforest: Implications for environmental management in Southern Nigeria. Sahel Analyst Journal of Management Sciences 17, p71-88

Ndakara OE, Eyefia OA. 2021. Spatial and Seasonal Variations in Rainfall and Temperature across Nigeria., Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES), 18, p 79-92. Https://

Ndakara OE, Ofuoku UA. 2020. Characterizing plant biomass and soil parameters under exotic trees within rainforest environment in southern Nigeria. AIMS Environmental Science 7, p 611-626.

Ngaiwi EM, Molua EL, Egbe AE. 2018. Litterfall and nutrient returns in the rainforest of south western Cameroon: Some implications for Tropical forest productivity. Environmet and natural Resources Research 8, p 25-32.

Oziegbe BM, Muoghalu JI, Oke SO. 2011. Litterfall, precipitation and nutrient fluxes in a secondary lowland rainforest in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Acta Botanica Brasilica 25, p 252-261.

Perez CA, Armesto JJ, Torrealba C, Carmona MR. 2003. Litterfall dynamics and nitrogen use efficiency in two evergreen tropical rainforests of southern Chile. Austral Ecology 28, p 591- 600.

Pragasan A, Parthasarathy N. 2005. Litter production in tropical dry evergreen forests of south India in relation to season, Plant life-forms and physiognomic groups. Current science 88, p 1255-1263.

Pypker TG, Bond BJ, Link TE, Marks D, Unsworth MH. 2005. The importance of canopy structure in controlling the interception loss of rainfall: Examples from a young and an old-growth Douglas- fir forest. Agriculture and Forest meteorology 130, p 113-129.