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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 469326, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/469326
Research Article

Analysis of Soil-Vegetation Interrelationships in a South-Southern Secondary Forest of Nigeria

1Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Calabar, P. M. B. 1115, Nigeria
2Department of Geography, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Received 14 December 2010; Revised 23 April 2011; Accepted 16 May 2011

Academic Editor: Piermaria Corona

Copyright © 2012 D. D. Eni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Soil-vegetation interrelationships in a secondary forest of South-Southern Nigeria were studied using principal component analysis (PCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA). The grid system of vegetation sampling was employed to randomly collect vegetation and soil data from fifteen quadrats of 10 m × 10 m. PCA result showed that exchangeable sodium, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable calcium, and sand content were the major soil properties sustaining the regenerative capacity and luxuriant characteristics of the secondary forest, while tree size and tree density constituted the main vegetation parameters protecting and enriching the soil for its continuous support to the vegetation after decades of anthropogenic disturbance (food crop cultivation and illegal logging activities) before its acquisition and subsequent preservation by the Cross River State government in 2003. In addition, canonical correlation analysis showed result similar to PCA, as it indicated a pattern of relationship between soil and vegetation. The only retained canonical variate revealed a positive interrelationship between organic matter and tree size as well as an inverse relationship between organic matter and tree density. These extracted soil and vegetation variables are indeed significantly important in explaining soil-vegetation interrelationships in the highly regenerative secondary forest.