Spatial variability of uncultivated soils in derived savanna

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Abstract

The spatial variability of some physicochemical properties of topsoils/subsoils under secondary forest, grassland fallow, and bare-soil fallow of three locations was evaluated. The data were analyzed and described using classical statistical parameters. Based on the coefficient of variation, bulk density, total porosity, 60-cm-tension moisture content, and soil pH were of low variability. Coarse and fine sand were of moderate variability. Highly variable soil properties included silt, clay, macroporosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, organic matter concentration, and cation exchange capacity. Overall, soil pH and silt varied the least and the most, respectively. Relative weighting showed that location dominantly influenced the soil variability, except for soil porosity and organic matter concentration influenced mostly by land use. Most of the soil data were normally distributed; others were positively skewed and/or kurtotic. The minimum number of samples (at 25 samples ha-1) required to estimate mean values of soil properties was highly soil property-specific, ranging from 1 (topsoil pH-H2O) to 246 (topsoil silt). Cation exchange capacity of subsoils related fairly strongly with cation exchange capacity of topsoils (R2 = 0.63). Spatial variability data can be used to extrapolate dynamic soil properties across a derived-savanna landscape.

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