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Yeungnam University (2015)

Afforestation in Semi-Arid Regions Using Native Tree Species Melia volkensii (Mukau) : A Case Study of Mwingi District, Kenya

Kitema Kimanthi Anthony

Titre : Afforestation in Semi-Arid Regions Using Native Tree Species Melia volkensii (Mukau) : A Case Study of Mwingi District, Kenya

Auteur : Kitema Kimanthi Anthony

Université de soutenance : Yeungnam University

Grade : Master of Science (2015)

Résumé
Accelerated soil erosion and land degradation are peculiar to semi-arid lands that are devoid of vegetation cover. When trees and shrubs on such areas were removed, the soil of the site was severely exposed and was easily eroded by various agents of erosion since it lost its aggregation and stability. Subsequently, up-slopes lost their productive potentiality and transported top soils to down slope causing problems of displacement and drying of lakes through time. The study was aimed at evaluating the potential of adaptability and performance of native tree species, Melia volkensii to rehabilitate the degraded semi-arid area of Mwingi. The study showed that different tree species have significantly varying potentials to adapt and rehabilitate such degraded hill sides. According to this study, a significant decline in the height growth of Melia volkensii in steeper slope classes was redeemed by infiltration pits. Tree species such as Prunus africana showed no need for water harvesting structures especially in gentler slope classes. Comparable mean height growth indicated comparative hardiness. It was also found that planting of tree species such as Cupressus lusitanica to rehabilitate such hill sides should be restricted to gentler slopes and augmented by infiltration pits. Height growth of this species showed a significant decline on steep slopes that could not be redeemed through the use of pits. Grevillea robusta performed better on gentle slopes with water harvesting pits. The results indicated that comparable performances of this species could be attained in steeper slope classes when seedlings were planted with infiltration pits. Prunus africana has performed poorest among the species evaluated in this rehabilitation study.

Mots Clés : Semi-arid lands, Rehabilitation, Afforestation, Native tree species, Melia volkensii, Prunus africana, Cupressus lustitanica, Grevillea robusta, Degradation.

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Page publiée le 7 juin 2020