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University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2016)

Eucalyptus in Kenya ; Impacts on Environment and Society

Garrett Kluthe, Brandy M. 

Titre : Eucalyptus in Kenya ; Impacts on Environment and Society

Auteur : Garrett Kluthe, Brandy M. 

Université de soutenance : University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Dynamics (PhD) 2016

Eucalyptus trees were introduced to Kenya a little over a century ago. European colonization along with the development of a railway system increased the demand for a fast growing wood source. The expansion of the tree across the fertile lands in Kenya raises concerns about the environmental impact on ecosystems where it has been introduced. These concerns include degraded soils, loss of water resources, co-introduction of ectomycorrhizal species, and allelopathy. Economic benefits to local landowners were also explored as well as the potential for large Eucalyptus woodlots to maximize the sequestration of CO₂ from the atmosphere. This was examined through farmer interviews and the collection of data from both Eucalyptus and indigenous forests. The results indicate that the density of Eucalyptus varied by age and species and managed harvest rates could be utilized to maximize carbon content in Eucalyptus to increase carbon sequestration potential of woodlots. In the greenhouse study of allelopathy, Eucalyptus did inhibit the growth and germination of the test plants. The indigenous plants were the most strongly affected. The soil analyses indicate that overall, Eucalyptus may not have a strong effect on the soils but do have a significant effect on soil moisture and diversity found within the woodlots. Ectomycorrhizal fungi were molecularly identified as some of the same species associating with Eucalyptus in Australia, indicating co-introduction. Farmers indicated that they were aware of the environmental concerns associated with cultivating Eucalyptus but the economic benefits were greater than the environmental issues

Mots clés  : Biological sciences ; Health and environmental sciences ; Allelopathy ; Carbon sequestration ; Eucalyptus ; Introduced species ; Kenya ; Mycorrhizal fungi


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