Influence of physiochemical properties of the soil on diversity of halophytes around Lake Katwe.
Turyasingura, Marvin Loven
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Salinity is one of the rising problems causing tremendous yield losses in many regions of the world especially in arid and semiarid regions. To maximize crop productivity, these areas should be brought under utilization where there are options for removing salinity or using the salt-tolerant crops. Use of salt-tolerant crops does not remove the salt and hence halophytes that have capacity to accumulate and exclude the salt can be an effective way. Lake Katwe is a permanent salty lake found in South western Uganda which means it supports growth of halophytes however these species of halophytes have not been studied. This research study is focused on identifying the diversity of plant species that have the capacity to grow well around lake Katwe and their range of distribution depending on the electrical conductivity and pH of the soil. Multiple linear regression was used for data analysis to measure the influence electrical conductivity and pH have on the diversity of halophytes around the crater region; however, it was found out that as per the data values obtained, Electrical conductivity and pH only explain 15.36% of the results of species diversity (which was calculated using Shannon wiener index) and a p value of 0.1735 which was higher than the 95% confidence level thus acceptance of the null hypothesis. This necessitated that the species diversity is influence by other factors which include cattle grazing, land clearing for farming and road construction, cutting down plants for salt pan construction, firewood among others. Some of the plants found around the crater have been used elsewhere to phytoremediate saline areas, others for heavy metal decontamination, wastewater treatment among other.