Article Number: DRJAFS79809013163
Vol. 5 (12), pp. 478-484 December 2017
Copyright © 2017
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Original Research Article
Chemical Properties of Soils from Mounds of Macrotermes bellicosus [Isoptera: Termitidae] in Sokoto, Semi- arid Zone
Chemical properties of soils in and adjacent to the mounds of Macrotermes bellicosus were studied. Four Local Government Areas in Sokoto State namely; Shagari, Wamakko, Wurno and Yabo were selected for the study. Soil samples from eight medium-sized (1.50- 2.49 m in height) mounds in Fadama and Upland areas of each Local Government Area were collected and analysed for their chemical properties using standard procedures. Nine soil samples each weighing 200 g were collected from different parts of the mounds and their surroundings. Soil pH, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and organic matter contents were determined using the Walkley-Black Method, cation exchange capacity was determined by exchange with hexamine cobalt (III) cation at neutral soil pH 7, available phosphorus in the soils was determined using Bray No. 1 Method, amount of K and Na in the soils was determined using the flame photometer method, Ca and Mg were determined using atomic absorbance spectrometry (AAS) and percentage nitrogen in the soil was determined using the Kjeldahl method. The results showed that the soil pH was between 6.7 and 7.1 while the electrical conductivity has the highest mean of 266 µS/cmand the least was 23 µS/cm. The lowest organic matter and nitrogen content (105) was recorded at upland in Wurno while the highest (2.31) was at fadama land in Yabo. Higher phosphorous (1.54mg/kg) was observed in soils from fadama land in Wurno. The CEC value was highest at Wurno Fadama land with 12.62cmol/kg. Magnesium was the highest exchangeable bases recorded while calcium was the lowest. Soils from the mounds were observed to have little variation in their chemical properties with the surrounding environment. However, the chemical properties showed that the soils were fertile.
Keywords: Macrotermes bellicosus, mounds, soil, chemical properties