PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND MICROBIAL POPULATION DYNAMICS OF SHEA NUT CAKE POLLUTED SOIL IN NORTHERN GHANA
One hundred and sixty two (162) samples each were collected from shea nut cake polluted and unpolluted (control) soil at three soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm and 40-60 cm) in Gurugu, Jusonayilli and Kasalgu in the Sanarigu District in the Northern Region of Ghana from September 2009 to July 2010, to compare depth-wise distribution of physico-chemical properties, bacteria and fungi populations in the soil. Soils were sandy-loam, loam and clay for polluted soils in Gurugu, Jusonayilli and Kasalgu and loamy sand, sandy-loam and clay for controls respectively. Moisture, pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen were significantly higher in polluted soils than controls. They were highest in the 0-20 cm depth in Gurugu and Jusonayilli and in the 20-40 cm depth in Kasalgu. Bacteria counts were highest in 0-20 cm depth. Bacteria population was higher during rainy season. Fungi counts were highest in the 0-20 cm depth in Gurugu and Jusonayilli and in the 20-40 cm soil in Kasalgu. Bactria counts were highest in September and fungi in November. Microbial counts were significantly higher in polluted than unpolluted soils. Shea nut cake added organic matter and nutrients to soil which increased bacteria and fungi populations.
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