Abstract

 

Accepted 19th July, 2019.

 

There is a close and direct relationship between soils and plants. The plants cover has always served as an indicator of soil status for primary production activities. This study focuses on cassava-yield responses to soil properties in the coastal plain soils of Bakassi Local Government Area of cross River State, Nigeria. Both transect and quadrant methods were employed for the collection of soil samples and cassava yield. Nine transects, each 400m long were established in each of the plots and a quadrant of 10 x 10m was located in every 200m interval in each of the cardinal directions and the starting point. In each of the sampling plot, soil samples were collected from two depths of 0-15cm and 15-30cm. The soils samples collected into well labeled polythene bags were brought to the laboratory for analysis. In addition, an estimated area of 10,000m2 of cassava plot was grided into cells and 10 plots were randomly selected. At each sampling unit, an area of 100m2 was marked out by measuring a dimension of 10 x 10m with a measuring tape. The number of cassava stands within the 1002 area were counted and recorded. All the cassava stands in each farm were harvested and fresh tuber bulked together in a sack and then weighed with a manual weighing balance and mean weight in kg determination. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as the Pearson’s moment correlation and the regression model to investigate the nature of the relationship between cassava and vegetative parameters (tuber, leaves and stem). The results revealed that cassava tuber-yield positively correlated with silt (r=0.86** P<0.01) but negatively correlated with sand (r= .0.87** P<0.01), clay (r = -0.44 P<0.01), bulk density (r = -0.85** P<0.01) and moisture content (r= -0.71** P<0.01). The results further revealed that cassava tube yield positively correlated with total nitrogen, but negatively correlated with pH, exchangeable magnesium and exchangeable potassium, estimated variables show coefficient of determination of 96%, while cassava leaves-yield negatively correlated with sand, silt, clay, bulk density, pore space and moisture content. The estimates yielded multiple regression coefficient R2 of 0.93. Exchangeable k, Mg:k ratio, organic matter negatively correlated with cassava stem-yield but positively correlated with total nitrogen, exchangeable Ca, Na, base saturation and exchange acidity with a multiple regression coefficient (R2) of 0.98. In order to protect the soils from deterioration in the study area, an intervention is needed for appropriate management strategy to boast cassava production.

 

Keywords: Cassava-yield, Soil properties, Coastal plain sand soils, Vegetative parameters and Bakassi.