A Comparative Study of Element Cycling in the Soil-Plant System: A Case Study of Shaly and Calcareous Soils, Southern Benue Trough, Nigeria


This study focused on the cycling of major and trace elements in the soil-plant system in parts of Southern Benue Trough, Nigeria. Surface soil samples and cassava crop samples were collected from cultivated farmlands underlined by shaly and calcareous soils and were analysed using standard techniques. The results show that shaly soils are relatively acidic (pH, 4.8 - 6.6) with high level of organic matter content (OM, 3.2% - 8.7%) compared to calcareous soils (pH, 5.6 - 7.2; OM 1.6% - 7.0%). The soils are enriched in elemental composition relative to the world average abundances in soil. The maximum levels of K, Al, and Zn were obtained from shaly soils. The computed accumulation factors are generally <1. Elemental levels decreased in the plant parts in the order tuber > leaf > stem. Significant correlation was obtained between elemental associations of calcareous surface soils compared to that of shaly soils. R-mode factor analysis revealed the controls of soil geochemistry to include lithology, anthropogenic and environmental factors. A stepwise linear regression analysis identified soil elemental component, pH and organic matter as some of the factors influencing soil-plant metal uptake.

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Nganje, T. and Adamu, C. (2014) A Comparative Study of Element Cycling in the Soil-Plant System: A Case Study of Shaly and Calcareous Soils, Southern Benue Trough, Nigeria. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 453-463. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.54043.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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