Effect of some biological factors on soil variability in the tropics

III. Effect of macrotermes mounds

Summary

Observations of a selected area in the forest zone of south western Nigeria indicate that the distribution ofMacrotermes bellicosus (Smeathman) andMacrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur) mounds are mainly affected by the drainage conditions of the soils along a toposequence. Higher number of mounds are observed on the better drained soils, ranging from 35.4 to 17.2 mounds/ha covering an area of respectively 0.84 and 0.10 per cent. The shallow and poorly drained soils show lower mound density (<1 mound/ha).

The mound soil bears close resemblance to the subsoil, has higher clay content, lower pH, organic C, CEC and extractable P, but higher P retentio than the adjacent surface soil.

Growth of maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max. (L.) Merrill) was poorer in the mound soil than in the surface soil. The problem of increased soil variability when large number of mounds are encountered in the field is discussed.

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Kang, B.T. Effect of some biological factors on soil variability in the tropics. Plant Soil 50, 241–251 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02107175

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Keywords

  • Clay
  • Maize
  • Glycine
  • Plant Physiology
  • Surface Soil