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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås (2014)

Soil quality and carbon footprint of different land uses by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia

Gelaw, Aweke Mulualem

Titre : Soil quality and carbon footprint of different land uses by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia

Jordkvalitet -og karbon fotspor av forskjellige bruksområder på småbruk i Etiopia

Auteur : Gelaw, Aweke Mulualem

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) 2014

Résumé
In Ethiopia, deforestation of natural forests and extensive use of agricultural lands have resulted in soil degradation. Despite recent massive restoration measures implemented on degraded landscapes, nowhere in the country the problem is more manifest than in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Most soils in this part of the country are already exhausted by several decades of over exploitation and mismanagement. There are different types of land uses in the region but quantitative information is lacking about the impacts of these land uses on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) storage capacities and on soil quality. Therefore, this study assessed effects of different land uses on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) stocks, on associations of SOC and TN with soil aggregates and primary particles, and on soil quality. Data for papers I, II, III and V have been collected from the following five land uses within Mandae watershed in eastern Tigray : (1) tree-less rainfed cultivation (RF) (2) Faidherbia albida based agroforestry (AF), (3) open pasture (OP), (4) irrigation based Guava fruit production (IR) and (5) Faidherbia albida based silvopasture (SP). The objectives of this study include : (i) measuring SOC and TN stocks and concentrations in soils under the five land uses (AF, RF, OP, IR and SP) and four depths (0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm) (Paper I), and soils under four land uses (AF, RF, OP and SP) and three depths (0-15, 15-30 and 30-50 cm) (Paper V), (ii) determining magnitudes of SOC and TN associated with soil aggregates and primary particles under the five land uses and two depths (0-10 and 10-20 cm) (Paper II), and (iii) compare the effects of only three agricultural land uses (AF, RF and IR) in 0-15 cm depth on selected physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, and on an overall integrated soil quality index (SQI) of the soils under these land uses (Paper III). In addition, C-use efficiency, and C-sustainability index of the smallholder crop-livestock mixed production systems in the whole country, Ethiopia, was assessed using C footprint analysis on data obtained from the abstracts of the central statistics agency (CSA) of Ethiopia and FAO databases (Paper IV).

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