Pedological Characterization of Soils Developed from Volcanic Parent Materials of Northern Province of Rwanda
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages: 225-236
Received: Sep. 14, 2016;
Accepted: Sep. 27, 2016;
Published: Oct. 26, 2016
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Providence Uwitonze, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Balthazar Michael Msanya, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Peter Wilson Mtakwa, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Solange Uwingabire, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Sylvere Sirikare, Rwanda Agriculture Board, Kigali, Rwanda
Soils formed from volcanic materials have high potential for agricultural production and support high human population densities. This study was carried out on soils developed from volcanic parent materials of Northern Province of Rwanda aiming largely on pedological characterization but to a certain extent on assessment of potentials of soils for production of major crops in the area. Three representative pedons namely Kinigi Pedon 1 (KNG-P1), Kinigi Pedon 2 (KNG-P2) and Gahunga Pedon 1 (GHNG-P1) were identified and described. Sixteen soil samples were collected from different pedogenic horizons and analyzed in the laboratory for physico-chemical properties. Pedons were classified using USDA Soil Taxonomy and FAO-WRB for Soil Resources. Potentials and limitations of the soils were also identified. Results show that soils were shallow to very deep and well drained. Topsoils were very dark coloured with colour values of ≤ 2 in all pedons. Texture was generally loamy with bulk densities of < 0.47 g/cm3 in Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 while they ranged from 0.94 to 1.34 g/cm3 in Pedon GHNG-P1. Topsoils were medium acid (KNG-P1, KNG-P2) and mildly alkaline (GHNG-P1), with high to very high OC ranging from 3.97 to 13.03%. CECsoil was high (> 32 cmol (+)/kg) in Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2. Base saturation was low (< 30%) in Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 while it was high (> 50%) in Pedon GHNG-P1. pHNaF was > 9.5 in Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 reflecting exchange complex dominated by amorphous materials and/or humus complexes. Phosphorus retention capacity ranged from 6.25% to 99.58% and only Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 met the “andic properties” requirement of PRC ≥ 85%. Melanic index values indicated that these two pedons were characterized more by fulvic than humic acids. Nutrient imbalance with reference to basic cations was common in all studied soils, implying suboptimal nutrient uptake and toxicity. Fe2O3, SiO2 and Al2O3 were the dominant oxides in the studied soils. Degree of weathering of studied soils was low as indicated by their weathering indices. Using field and laboratory data, Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 classified as Andisols/Andosols and GHNG-P1 as Mollisols/Phaeozems. Land units represented by Pedons KNG-P1 and KNG-P2 were rated as marginally suitable while land unit represented by Pedon GHNG-P1 was rated as moderately suitable for the major crops of the area. Application of P fertilizers coupled with efficient placement was recommended to enhance P, and soil conservation should be underscored in study area.
Balthazar Michael Msanya,
Peter Wilson Mtakwa,
Pedological Characterization of Soils Developed from Volcanic Parent Materials of Northern Province of Rwanda, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Vol. 5, No. 6,
2016, pp. 225-236.
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