Soil properties and their influence on tree species distribution on and off the floodplain in the Tana River area of Kenya

  • Joyce Kanini Omari University of Nairobiu
  • John Kiogora Mworia Meru University of Science and Technology
  • Nathaniel Ndegwa Gichuki University of Nairobi
  • Cosmas Mligo University of Dar es Salaam
Keywords: floodplain, soil properties, Tana River, tree species distribution

Abstract

Variation in soil properties can influence plant composition and distribution in river floodplains of semi-arid regions. Soil data were collected alongside tree species data on and off the Tana River floodplain in South-eastern Kenya from plots that were organized along transects. A t-test was used to compare soil properties and canonical correspondence analysis to relate the soil properties to the tree species distribution. Moisture (t = 5.92), pH (t = 2.03), P (t = 5.91), Mg (t = 3.25) and Ca (t = 2.04) were significantly higher inside the floodplain (P < 0.05), and bulk density outside the floodplain (t = -8.76, P < 0.05). The influence of soil properties on tree species distribution was higher inside the floodplain with a higher fitted variation of 43% for the first two axes. Bulk density, Ca, Mg, K and CEC significantly influenced the distribution of tree species inside and outside the floodplain. The influence of moisture, P, N and C outside, and pH inside was also significant. The results show that soil properties and flood regime disturbances are important drivers of the vegetation composition. This information is useful in management of tree populations in the light of climate variability and mega dam constructions.

 

 

References

Adel, M.N., Daryaei, M.G., Pashaki, M.S., Jalali J., Kuhestani, J.S., Jiroudnezhad, R. (2017). Relationship of soil physical and chemical properties with ecological species groups in Pinus taeda plantation in northern Iran. Biodiversitas, 18, 422-426.

Black, C.A. (1986). Methods of Soil Analysis. American Society Agronomy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Bonyongo, M.C., Mubyana, T., Totolo, O., Veenandaal, E.M. (2002). Flooding arid soil nutrient status in Okavango Delta's seasonal floodplains. Botswana Notes and Records, 34, 123-130.

Burgess, N., Malugu, I., Sumbi, P., Kashindye, A., Kijazi, A., Tabor, K., Newham, R. (2017). Two decades of change in state, pressure and conservation responses in coastal forest biodiversity hptspot of Tanzania. Oryx, 51 (1). 77-86. doi:10.1017/S003060531500099X

Choge, S.K., Ngunjiri, F.D., Kuria, M.N., Busaka, E.A., Muthondeki, J.K. (2002). The status and impact of Prosopis spp. in Kenya. KEFRI, Nairobi.

Gachathi, F.N., Johansson, S., Alakoski-Johansson, G. (1987). A Check List Hughes, F.M.R. (1988). The ecology of African floodplain forests in semi-arid and arid zones: a review. Journal of Biogeography, 15, 127–140.

Hein, T., Baranyi, C. et al. (2003). Allochthonous particulate organic matter in floodplains of the River Danube: the importance of hydrological connectivity. Freshwater Biology, 48, 220-232.

Houba, van der lee J.J., Novozamsky, I., Walinga, I. (1988). Soil analysis procedures (part 5, chapter15.1). Department of soil science and plant analysis, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hughes, F.M.R. (1990). The influence of flooding regimes on forest distribution and composition in the Tana River Floodplain, Kenya. Journal of Applied Ecology, 27, 475-491.

Iwara, A.I., Gani, B.S., Njar, G.N., Deekor, T.N. (2011). Influence of Soil Physico-chemical Properties on the Distribution of woody Tree/Shrub Species in South-Southern Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Science, 2, 69-75.

Loth, P.E., De Boer Willem, F., Ignas, M.A.H., Herbert, H.T.P. (2005). Germination strategy of the E. African Savanna tree Acacia tortilis. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 21, 509-517.

Mahmood, K., Chughtai, M.I., Awan, A.R., Waheed, R.A. (2016). Biomass production of some salt tolerant tree species grown in different ecological zones of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 48, 89-96.

Maingi, J.K., and Marsh S.E. (2002). Quantifying hydrologic impacts following dam construction along the Tana River, Kenya. Journal of Arid Environments, 50, 53–79.

Maingi, J.K. (2006). Growth Rings in Tree Species from the Tana River floodplain, Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History, 95, 181-211.

Marcia, A.R., Anderson, R.C. (2004). Effects of nitrogen addition on the invasive grass Phragmites australis and a native competitor Spartina pectinata. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41, 888-896.

Mligo, C. (2017). Plant species response to variation in soil nutrient saturation gradients in Zaraninge Forest, Tanzania. African journal of Ecology, 55, 134-144.

Munishi, P.K.T., Shear, T.H., Wentworth, T., Temu, R.A.P.C. (2007). Compositional gradients of plant communities in submontane rainforests of Eastern Tanzania. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 19, 35-45.

Mwangi, E., Swallow, B. (2008). Prosopis juliflora Invasion and Rural Livelihoods in the Lake Baringo Area of Kenya. Conservation and Society, 6, 130-140.

Mworia, J.K., Kinyamario, J.I., Omari, J.K., Wambua, J.K. (2011). Patterns of seed dispersal and establishment of the invader Prosopis juliflora in the upper floodplain of Tana River, Kenya. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 28, 35-41.

Nelson & Sommers 1975. In: Okalebo, J.R., Gathua, K.W., Woomer, P.L. (2002). Laboratory Methods of Soil and Plant Analysis: A Working Manual (2nd Edition). Sacred African Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya.

Okalebo, J.R., Gathua, K.W., Woomer, P.L. (2002). Laboratory Methods of Soil and Plant Analysis: A Working Manual (2nd Edition). Sacred African Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya.

Omari J. K., J. K. Mworia, N. Gichuki and C. Mligo (2019). Woody Species Composition in Upper Tana River Floodplain of Kenya: Potential Effects of Change in Flood Regimes. Journal of Sustainability Environment and Peace 1(3) 91–97.

Patnaik, P., Tasneem, A., Abbasi, S.A. (2017). Prosopis (Prosopis juliflora): blessing and bane. Tropical Ecology, 58, 455-483.

Pulido, M., Schnabel, S., Lavado Contador, J.F., Lozano-Parra, J., González, F. (2016). The Impact of Heavy Grazing on Soil Quality and Pasture Production in Rangelands of SW Spain. Land Degradation and Development, doi: 10.1002/ldr.2501.

Sankaran, M., Ratnam, J., Hanan, N.P. (2004). Tree grass coexistence in savannas revisited—insights from an examination of assumptions and mechanisms invoked in existing models. Ecology Letters, 7, 480–490.

Saraswathi, K., Chandrasekaran, S. (2016). Biomass yielding potential of naturally regenerated Prosopis juliflora tree stands at three varied ecosystems in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23, 9440-9447.

Stevens, P.A., Hornung, M. (1990). Effect of harvest intensity and ground flora establishment on inorganic-N leaching from a Sitka spruce plantation in north Wales. Biogeochemistry, 10, 53–65.

Ter Braak, C., Šmilauer, P. (2012). Canoco Reference Manual and User’s Guide: Software for Ordination (version 5.0). Microcomputer power, Itaca, www. canoco. Com, 496 pp

Tockner, K., Pennetzdorfer, D. et al. (1999). Hydrological connectivity, and the exchange of organic matter and nutrients in a dynamic river-floodplain system (Danube, Austria). Freshwater Biology, 41, 521-535.

Udoh, B.T., Ogunkunle, A.O., Ndaeyo, N.U. (2007). Influence of soil series and physic-chemical properties on weed flora distribution at Moor Plantation Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Social Sciences, 3, 55-58.

Zar, H.J. (1999). Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice Hall Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Zhou, Z.C., Gan, Z.T., Shangguan, Z.P., Dong, Z.B. (2010). Effects of grazing on soil physical properties and soil erodibility in semiarid grassland of the Northern Loess Plateau (China). Catena, 82, 87-91.

Published
2020-01-31
How to Cite
Omari, J., Mworia, J., Gichuki, N., & Mligo, C. (2020). Soil properties and their influence on tree species distribution on and off the floodplain in the Tana River area of Kenya. Journal of Sustainability, Environment and Peace, 3(1), 1-7. Retrieved from http://jsep.uonbi.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/jsep/article/view/245