Seasonal Variation in Physicochemical Properties of Soil within the Vicinity of an Iron Smelting Factory - Implication on Standing Vegetation
This study examined the seasonal variations in the physicochemical properties of soil around the vicinity of an iron smelting factory in Fashina area, Ile-Ife, with the aim of monitoring the impact on the soil characteristics, nutrient availability and its possible consequence on the surrounding vegetation. Four study plots, each measuring 50 × 50 m were selected around the iron and smelting Factory. Soil samples were collected randomly and analysed during the rainy and dry seasons at a depth of 0-20 cm, representing the top soil using soil auger. The soil samples were analysed for particle size, soil texture, pH and availability of some basic soil nutrient such as nitrogen, organic carbon, potassium, phosphorus, etc. The study revealed that the physicochemical properties of soil in focus varied across the plots, which may be a consequence of the gradient created by the citing of iron smelting factory, but the data obtained did not significantly varied within the seasons. Furthermore, high organic matter was recorded in all the plots under study; this might be due to the fact that the study area was rich in clay. More clayey soils generally tend to contain higher levels of organic matter, mainly because of the tendency of clays to slow down microbial degradation of organic matter, as clays form clay-humus complexes with organic matter. Also, the heavy metal distribution varied within the two seasons, as most of the metals showed high level of concentration in the rainy season.
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