Effect of charcoal production on environmental degradation in guinea savanna ecological zone of Nigeria

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School of environmental technology, federal university of technology, Minna, Nigeria


The study examines the effects of charcoal production on soil properties around mound sites in guinea savannah region of Nigeria. Soil samples at 1Ocm depths were collected at equidistance position of I meter over a distance of 8 meters away from 3 mound sites. The collected soil samples were subsequently analysed at University of llorin laboratories for physical and chemical characteristics. Unlike findings reported in previous studies biomass burning at the mounds in this study did not result in increase of soil micro nutrient, rather an increase in soils chemical characteristics were observed as distance increases from the mounds. The implication of this finding is that charcoal production in the study area is robbing the soil of its essential minerals. Reason for this may however not be unconnected with dry season period the data was collected when rain has not fallen to leach the nutrients from the burnt biomass into the soil. The study also revealed that heat influence at the study sites were only limited to 5 meters distance away from the mounds. This might be because the soil in the area is basically sandy and poor conductor of heat. The general implication of the findings of this research is that, at local level, the damage done to the environment by wood combustion into charcoal may not be as terrible as the havoc caused by the cutting down of trees. The study thus concludes that, the effect of the charcoal production on soil will vary with climatic region.



Mound, Combustion, Charcoal, Degradation, Biomass