Greener Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition

Open Access

Nweke and Ijeh

Greener Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Vol. 4 (4), pp. 036-045, November 2017.

  © 2017 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 102517158



Relationship between Aggregate Stability Indices of Four Contrasting Textural Classes of Soils as Influenced by different Periods of Soaking


Nweke I.A.*1 and Ijeh A.C.2


1Department of Soil Science Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State.

2Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe Anambra State.


The ability of soil aggregates to resist the forces of water and/or wind, the potential to degrade, crust and/or seal is referred to aggregate stability. Little is known about the effect of soil texture and period of soaking on aggregate stability for cultivated soil of four major textural classes in southeast, Nigeria which was the objective of our study. Soil samples representing a range of agricultural soils of four contrasting textural classes of sandy loam; sandy clay loam; clay loam and loam under five different period of soaking namely; 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes were studied using wet and dry sieve techniques. The indices evaluated include; mean weight diameter wet and dry, water stable aggregates >2.00mm (WSA1); water stable aggregates 2.00mm – 1.00mm (WSA2); water stable aggregates 1.00mm – 0.5mm (WSA3); 0.5mm – 0.25mm (WSA4);  < 0.25 mm (WSA5).  Results generated from the study showed that the studied soil types are poor in organic carbon (OC), organic matter and sodium (Na) contents. Their cation exchange capacity (CEC) values are of moderate values of which ranged from 4.67 – 8.80 cmolkg-1. The relationship study indicated that WSA1 correlated significantly and positively with WSA2 and mean weight diameter wet (MWDW), but negatively with WSA4 and WSA5 with r values of -0.306 and -0.695 respectively. WSA2 was observed to have significant positive correlation with WSA3, WSA4 and MWDW. WSA3 and WSA4 did not correlate significantly with MWDW but has positive correlation with each other with r value of 0.794. WSA5 was found to correlate significantly but negatively withWSA1 – WSA5 (2.00mm – 0.25mm). Mean weight diameter of wet aggregates correlated positively and significantly with degree of aggregation (DA) and state of aggregation (SA) at 0 – 120 minutes, this result was equally true for DA and SA correlation result at times studied. The correlation matrix of mean weight diameter of dry aggregates (MWDD) with MWDW, DA and SA indicated negative correlation in all the time studied, except at 30 minutes where it showed positive correlation with DA with r value of 0.639 and at 90 minutes were it was not significant with DA and SA. The correlation between aggregate stability indices studied and Na, CEC at various periods of soaking was not significant and OM content was low. Though not statistically significant, hydraulic conductivity (HC) and bulk density (BD) showed positive correlation with MWDW, DA and SA in all the soaking period while field capacity (FC) and total porosity (TP) showed negative correlation but not statistically significant with MWDW, DA and SA, but has positive correlation with MWDD. The findings from this study is of evidence that the period of soaking had some contributions to the stability of soil aggregates and soil properties especially with the trend in the correlation matrix between MWDD and MWDW, DA and SA.


Keywords: Aggregate stability, water stable aggregates, aggregate sizes, soaking period.

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