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Microbiological and Physicochemical Studies of Wetland Soils in Eket, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John, Justina I. R. Udotong


The microbiological and physicochemical characteristics of wetland soils in Eket Local Government Area were studied between May 2001 and June 2003. Total heterotrophic bacterial counts (THBC), total fungal counts (TFC), and total actinomycetes counts (TAC) were determined from soil samples taken from four locations at two depths in the wet and dry seasons. Microbial isolates were characterized and identified. Particle size and chemical parameters were also determined using standard methods. THBC ranged from 5.2 (+0.17) x106 to 1.7 (+0.18) x107 cfu/g and from 2.4 (+0.02) x106 to 1.4 (+0.04) x107cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. TFC ranged from 1.8 (+0.03) x106 to 6.6 (+ 0.18) x106 cfu/g and from 1.0 (+0.04) x106 to 4.2 (+ 0.01) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively .TAC ranged from 1.2 (+0.53) x106 to 6.0 (+0.05) x106 cfu/g and from 0.6 (+0.01) x106 to 3.2 (+ 0.12) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry season, respectively. Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Beijerinckja, Enterobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Serratia, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas species were predominant bacteria while Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Rhizopus were the dominant fungal genera isolated. Streptomyces and Norcadia were the actinomycetes genera isolated. The particle size analysis showed high sand fraction but low silt and clay. The pH and % organic matter were generally acidic and low, respectively at all locations. Calcium dominated the exchangeable bases with low electrical conductivity and micronutrients. These results provide the baseline data of Eket wetland soils for its management for sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: Wetland soils, Microbial counts, physicochemicalcharacteristics, Sustainable agriculture.

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