This study assessed the impacts of anthropogenic activities on the textural and selected chemical properties of the soils in the natural forestË—savanna in northern Ghana by comparing the soil physicochemical status of protected forests and neighbouring unprotected forests which are prone to human pressures (except farming and settlements). Three study zones (Wungu, Serigu, and Mognori, which are parts of West Mamprusi, Bolgatanga and Bawku East Districts respectively) were used for the study. Ninety-six (96) composite soil samples (0-50 cm depth) were collected for analysis. The study results showed that the texture of soils generally showed little difference between the protected and unprotected forests within each study zone. Bulk density, Cation exchange capacity (CEC), and soil organic C, Total Nitrogen (TN), and phosphorus (P), values were generally higher in the protected sites than the unprotected. Exchangeable bases (Ca, Mg, K and Na) and available micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu) content were greater in the protected forests than the unprotected. The study therefore suggests the development of management systems for offË—reserve forests in a direction which protects the fertility of the soils under these forests, and sustains forest productivity and people’s livelihoods.
Key words: ForestË—savanna, soil, physicochemical properties, soil health and fertility.
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