Assessment of Decomposition Rate and Soil Nutrient Status under Different Woody Species Combination in a Tree Plantation
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2015, Pages: 46-54
Received: Nov. 11, 2014; Accepted: Nov. 27, 2014; Published: Mar. 2, 2015
Views 4237      Downloads 295
I. O. Faboya, Department of Forestry, Ministry of Environment Ekiti State, Ekiti State, Nigeria
S. I. Adebola, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
O. O. Awotoye, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Forest Litter is the major input determining the nutrient accumulation within the forest soil ecosystem which goes a long way in determining forest stand productivity. To better understand this, the study investigated the litter decomposition rate and soil nutritional status under different woody species combinations in tree plantation established in 1998. Four different pocket of tree combinations Terminalia sp and Tectona grandis (1); Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis (2); Khaya sp and Tectona grandis (3); Theobroma cacao and Cola sp. (4) were used, while undisturbed natural forest served as the control. Three plots (25 m x 25 m) were randomly mapped out of each site in which fresh litter were collected with litter trap (1 m x 1 m ) and 45 litter bags were placed and 90 composite soil samples to the depths of 0-15 cm and 15-30 cm collected using a stainless steel auger. These collections followed the principle of co-location in each of the plots. Litter bag technique was used for Litter decomposition rate. The results of the litter accumulation in the forest plantations were in the magnitude of Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea (1249.2 kgha-1) > Teak and Khaya sp. (899.42 kgha-1) > Teak and Terminalia sp., (867.58 kgha-1) > natural forest (489.96 kgha-1) Cocoa and Cola (199.87 kgha-1). The decomposition rates under Tectona grandis and Khaya sp., Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea mixtures were higher than other tree species mixtures. The rate of decomposition under Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea mixtures was 5.3 times higher than that of Tectona grandis and Terminalia sp., Cocoa and Cola combinations and natural forest at 6 weeks. At 15-30 cm soil depth, the C/N ratio was in the magnitude of Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea (8.6:1) < Cocoa and Cola (9.3:1) < Tectona grandis and Khaya sp. (9.8:1) < Tectona grandis and Terminalia sp. Natural forest (11.7:1). The organic carbon and available nitrogen at 0-15cm soil depth under Tectona grandis and Khaya sp. combinations were significantly lower compared with other trees species combinations. However, the available phosphorus was significantly higher under Tectona grandis and Terminalia sp. compared with other tree species combinations. The dendograme indicated that the soil characteristics in the various tree species combinations plot were similar up to 50% with four clusters. The observed relative nutrient availability within the structurally different forested ecosystem in the study area might not be unconnected to the litter mixtures emerging from different tree combinations.
Tree Species Combinations, Litter Decomposition, Plantation Forestry, Natural Forest, Soil Nutrient Status
To cite this article
I. O. Faboya, S. I. Adebola, O. O. Awotoye, Assessment of Decomposition Rate and Soil Nutrient Status under Different Woody Species Combination in a Tree Plantation, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2015, pp. 46-54. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20150402.14
Adejuwon, J.O. and Ekanade, O. (1988). Soil Changes Consequent upon the Replacement of Tropical Rainforest by Plantations of Gmelina arborea, Tectona grandis and Terminalia superba. Journal of World Forest Resources Management 3: 47-59.
Alvarez, R. and Alvarez, C. R. (2000). Soil organic matter pools and their association with carbon mineralization kinetics. Journal of America society Soil Science 64(1): 184-189.
Awotoye, O. O., Ekanade O. and Airouhudion O. (2009). Degradation of the physicochemical properties resulting from continuous logging of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis plantations. African Journal of Agricultural Research. 4(11): 1317-1324.
Baldock J.A., Masiello C.A., Gelinas Y., Hedges J.I.,(2004). Cycling and composition of organic matter in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, Marine Chemistry 92 (2004) 39– 64
Berg, B., and McClaugherty, C. (2008). Plant Litter; Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration second edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg1-340. E- book available on
Binkley, D., and Resh, S. C., (1999). Rapid changes in soils following eucalyptus afforestation in Hawaii. Journal of America Soil Science Society 63:222–225.
Bremner, J. M. and Mulvaney C. S. (1982). Nitrogen- Total. In: Methods of soil analysis. Page, A. L. et al. (eds). Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Agron. Monogr. 9. Second Edition. pp 595-624. ASA and SSSA. Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Brockerhoff, E. G., Ecroyd, C. E. and Langer, E. R., (2001). Biodiversity in New Zealand plantation forests: policy trends, incentives, and the state of our knowledge. New Zealand Journal of Forestry 46: 31–37.
Ekanade, O.; Adesina, F.A. and Egbe, N.E. (1991). Sustaining Tree Crop Production under Intensive Land Use: An Investigation into Soil Quality Differentiation under Varying Cropping Patterns in Western Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Management. 32: 105-113.
Forrester, D.I.; Bauhus, J. and Khanna, P.K. (2004). Growth Dynamics in a Mixed Species Plantation of Eucalyptus globules and Accacia mearnsii. Forest, Ecology and Management. 193: 81-95.
Hartley, M.J. (2002). Rationale and Methods for Conserving Biodiversity in Plantation Forests. Forest, Ecology and Management. 155: 81-95.
Hertel, D., Harteveid, M. A. and Leuschner, C. (2009). Conversion of a Tropical Forest into Agroforest Alters the Fine root-related Carbon Flux to Soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 41: 481-490
Hooper, D.U., Chapin, F.S., Ewel, J.J., Hector, A., Inchausti, P., Lavorel, S. et al. (2005). Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge. Ecol. Monogr., 75, 3–35.
Janzen, H. H., Campbell, C. A., Brant, S. A., Lanfond, G. P. and Townley, S. (1992). Light-fraction organic matter in soils from long-trm crop rotations. Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 8: 200-213.
Juo, A. S. R. and Manu, A. (1996). Nutrient effect on modification of shifting cultivation in West Africa. Journal of Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment. 58: 49-60.
Kumar, and Deepu, J.K. (1992). Litter Production and Decomposition Dynamics in Moist, Deciduous Forests of the Western Ghats in Peninsular India. Forest, Eco1ogy and Management. 50:181-201.
Leopold, C.; Andrus, R.; Firkeldey, A. and Knowles, D. (2001). Attempting Restoration of Wet Tropical Forests in Costa Rica. Forest, Ecology and Management 142: 243-249.
Michel, K. Y., Pascal, K. T. A., Souleymane, K., Jerome, E. T., Yao, T., Luc, A. and Danielle, B. (2010). Effects of land use types on soil organic carbon and nitrogen dynamics in mid-west Cote d’Ivoire. European Journal of Scientific Research 2: 211-222
Montagnini, F. (2000). Accumulation in above Ground Biomass and Soil Storage of Mineral Nutrients in Pure and Mixed Plantations in Humid Tropical Lowland. Forest, Ecology and Management. 134:257-270.
Narong, K.; Katsutoshi, S. and Sota, T. (2007). Composition and Diversity of Woody Regeneration in a 37-year Old Teak (Tectonal Grandis L.) Plantation in Northern Thailand. Forest, Ecology and Management. 247: 246-254.
Nelson, D. W. and Sommers L. E. (1982). Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. In: Page, A. L. et al. (eds). Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Agron. Monogr. 9. Second Edition. pp 539-579. ASA and SSSA. Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Nwoboshi, L.C. (1970). Studies on Nutrient Cycle in Forest Plantations: Preliminary Observations on Litter Fall and Macro-Nutrient Return in a Teak (Tectona Grandis L.F.) Plantation. Nigerian Journal of Science 4(2): 231-237.
Ojo, A.F. (2005). Organic Matter and Nutrient Dynamics of the Natural Rainforest and Teak Plantation in Akure Forest Reserve, Nigeria. PhD Thesis in the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. 130 pp.
Okeke, A.L. and Omaliko, C.P.E. (1992). Leaf Litter Decomposition and Carbon dioxide Evolution in some Agroforestry Fallow Species in Southern Nigeria. Forest, Ecology and Management. 50: 103-116.
Ola Adams, B.A. (1978). Litter fall and Disappearance in a Tropical Moist Semi-deciduous Forest. Nigerian Journal of Forestry 8:31-36.
Onyekwelu, J.C.; Mosandi R., Stimm B. (2006). Productivity, Site Evaluation and State of Nutrition of Gmelina arborea Plantations in Oluwa and Omo Forest Reserve. Nigerian Forest Ecology and Management. 229: 214-227.
Oyeniyi, O.C. and Aweto A.O. (1986). Effects of Teak Planting on Alfisol Topsoil in Southwestern Nigeria. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 7:145-149.
Parrota,J.A. (1992). The Role of Plantation Forests in Rehabilitation Degraded. Tropical Ecosystem, Agricultural Ecosystems and Environment. 41: 115-133.
Parrotta, J .A. (1999). Productivity, Nutrient Cycling, and Succession in Single and Mixed-Species Plantations of Casuarina equietifolia, Eucalyptus robusta and Leucaena leucocephala in Puerto Rico. Forest, Ecology and Management. 124: 47-77.
Rothe A., and Binkley D. (2001). Nutritional Interactions in Mixed Species Forests: A Synthesis, Can. J. Res. 31:1855-1870
Singh, S.B.; Nath, S.; Pal, D.K. and Banarjee (1985). Changes in Soil Properties under Different Plantations of the Darjeeling Forest Division. India Forester 111(2): 90-98.
Sreekala, N.V.; Mercy George, V.K.G.; Unnithan, P.S. and John, R. (2001). Decomposition Dynamics of Cocoa Litter under Humid Tropical Conditions. Journal of Tropical Agriculture. 39: 190-192.
Thomas G. W. (1982). Exchangeeable cations. In: Page A. L. et al. (eds). Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Agron. Monogr. 9. Second Edition. pp 159- 165. ASA and SSSA. Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Tucker, N.I.J. and Murphy, T.M. (1977). The Effects of Ecological Rehabilitation on Vegetation Recruitment: Some Observations from the Wet Tropics of North Queensland. Forest, Ecology and Management. 99: 133-152.
Walkley, A., and Black, I. A., (1934). An Examination of the Degtgareff method for determining soil organic matter and proposed of modification of the chromic acid titration method. Journal of Soil Sciences. 37: 29-33.
Weaner, P.L.; Bindsay, R.A. and Lugo, A.E. (1987). Soil Organic Matter in Secondary Forest in Puerto Rico. Biotropica 19(1): 17-23.
Wood, T.G., (1974). Field investigations on the decomposition of leaves of Eucalyptus delegatensis in relation to environmental factors. Pedobiologia 14, 343–371.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186