Peer Review History: Assessment of the Impact of Untreated Rubber Effluent on the Base Cationic and Mycological Properties of Rubber Plantation Soil in Calabar, Nigeria

The study was carried out to determine the impact of rubber effluent on the cationic and mycological properties of soil in a rubber plantation through which it flows. Rubber effluent samples were collected for physicochemical and mycological analysis from the effluent discharge point of a rubber factory in Calabar, Nigeria. Three impact points (25 metres apart) were created along the flow channel of the effluent, and three sample points spaced 5m apart were created on both sides of each impact point. Top and subsoil samples were collected from the impact points and sample points for base cationic and mycological analysis. A control soil sample was also collected similarly. Correlation analysis, single-sample and two-sample were used to analyse the results. Results revealed that only temperature (26°C), sulphate (20.15 mg/l) and chloride (43.87 mg/l) conformed to Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) permissible limits of 40°C, 500 mg/l and 600mg/l, respectively. Bacteria isolated from the rubber effluent were identified as Pseudomonas spp, Micrococcus spp, Staphylococus spp, Proteus spp, Klebsiella spp, Bacillus spp, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter spp and Aeromonas spp. Fungi isolated were identified as Aspergillus spp, Penicillium spp, Rhizopus spp, Mucor spp and Sporothrix spp. Results also revealed that the rubber effluent impacted the soil, but parameters still recorded low values, as the effects of the effluent on the soil were altered by leaching, erosion and rubber root uptake. The study also revealed that microbiological investigation involving the use of a selective substrate can be used to augment or properly interpret results obtained from base cation studies similar to the current study, especially in a situation where pollution is not obvious or where factors like root uptake, leaching and erosion can potentially affect statistical results of base cation analysis.


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