Litter decomposition and release of nutrients form Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaf on Eucalypt plantation soils
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The decomposition and nutrient release from the leaf litter of Eucalyptus camaldulensis in six different plots under Eucalypt plantation soils were investigated. Six soil samples as well as leaf litter from each plot were collected from the plantation. Using standard methods, the soil samples as well as the leaf litter samples were analyzed for chemical properties (pH, Organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium). Microbiological characteristics (Total viable bacteria and fungi, and Carbon (IV) oxide evolution) of the decaying leaf litter samples were also determined. All analyses were done at day 1, 30 and 60 of the decomposition period. Litterbag study was employed; each litterbag contained a soil and its corresponding leaf litter obtained from the particular plot were designated as E1 – E6. The decomposition rates of the litter in E1, E2, E3, E4, E5 and E6 were found to be 0.00393, 0.00331, 0.00479, 0.00571, 0.00548 and 0.00271 respectively. The results showed that there was a general decrease in nutrient status of the litter and an increase in soil nutrient during the decomposition period. Pearson’s correlation matrix revealed that there was a positive correlation in the release of nutrient from the leaf litters and their return to the soil at day 1, 30 and 60 in almost all the samples. It was also found that the total viable bacteria and fungi were statistically associated. These were attributed to their different soil microbiological and chemical properties. It is concluded from this study that decomposition and release of nutrient from E. camaldulensis leaf litters in different plots under Eucalypt plantation soils are differed according to plot condition.
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- Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Nigeria
- Department of Biochemistry, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria
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