Abuja Journal of Agriculture and Environment (AJAE)

CHARACTERISTICS OF TERMITE MOUND SOILS WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA, SOUTHERN GUINEA SAVANNAH OF NIGERIA
Author(s): Odoh N. C., Sanusi H. B.  and Ncho C. O. 
Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 1 (2023)

ABSTRACT:

Termites engage in strange activities that have a significant impact on soil ecology. Within the University of Abuja community, a study was piloted to evaluate the chemical, physical, and some hydrological characteristics of termite mounds. Five different areas with visible termite mounds were identified and georeferenced using a GPS device. An auger was used to sample termite mounds from the top of each of the previously noted locations at a 10 cm depth. Similarly, control soil was sampled at a distance of 1.5 m from each termite mound. From each point, three (3) samples were taken to form a composite sample. Sub sampled soils (1 kg) were prepared, air dried, and used to assess the particle size distribution, hydrological, and chemical parameters. The generated data was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the statistical application Minitab 17. The Fisher LSD Method was employed to compare pairwise means at a0.05 level of significance. Across locations, the particle size and other parameters assessed did not differ significantly. The presence of termite mounds significantly affected the grain size distribution and hydrological parameters. The mean clay content of termite mound soil was significantly higher than that of adjacent soils. The permanent wilting point (PWP) of 14.06%, field capacity (FC) of 22.46%, and available water of 0.09 were significantly higher in termite mound soil than in adjacent soils, which had 11.12%,18.06%, and 0.07, respectively. Combining termite mound soils with other soils can help stabilize the soil’s structure and help it retain moisture, which increases the amount of water and nutrients that are accessible for crop growth.

KEYWORDS:

Biodiversity, soil functions, ecological engineers, climate change, Southern Guinea Savanna