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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2017 → Mitigate habitat degradation in the semiarid Brazil : potential and limitation of the endemic tree Spondias tuberosa Arruda

Universität Hohenheim (2017)

Mitigate habitat degradation in the semiarid Brazil : potential and limitation of the endemic tree Spondias tuberosa Arruda

Mertens, Jan Heiko

Titre : Mitigate habitat degradation in the semiarid Brazil : potential and limitation of the endemic tree Spondias tuberosa Arruda

Auteur : Mertens, Jan Heiko

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Doctor scientiarum agrarium (Dr. sc. agr.) 2017

Semiarid regions cover 15 % of the global land mass and are inhabited by approximately one billion people. Due to the strong rural character of these regions the well-being of 13 % of the world’s population relying directly or indirectly on their ecosystem services. One of the most densely populated semiarid region is the Caatinga biome, that is located in the Brazilian Northeast. Its climate is hot semiarid (BSh) with little, erratic, and seasonal precipitation, ranging from 250 to 900 mm per year. The average annual temperatures range from 23°C to 27°C. An evapotranspiration above 2000 mm per year results in a negative water balance during 7 to 11 months. The deciduous natural Caatinga vegetation ranges from tropical dry forest to open shrubby vegetation, with a seasonal herbaceous layer. Loss of its natural vegetation due to wood extraction, pasturing, and inappropriate land-use led to habitat degradation in up to 80 % of the area of the Caatinga biome. A degraded habitat jeopardizes the ecosystem services of the biome and poses a direct threat to its dwellers. In order to mitigate further habitat degradation an alternative land-use strategy is necessary to substitute or cut back prevailing land-use. The agro-industrial utilization of the fructiferous multipurpose tree Spondias tuberosa Arruda (Anacardiaceae), endemic to the Caatinga, has the potential to be a viable alternative to current irrigation farming and extensive animal husbandry. The current utilization of S. tuberosa is limited to extractivism of its fruits that lacks sustainability and appears to be a finite resource. The natural population of S. tuberosa presents a weakening natural regeneration with a resultant over aged S. tuberosa population. Poor natural regeneration results from a multifactorial problem. At this juncture, S. tuberosa is not considered endangered based on the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to lacking information for a Red List of Threatened Species threat assessment. However, the combination of expected changing environmental conditions within the Caatinga and restricted natural regeneration of S. tuberosa, both discussed in literature, provides a strong evidence, that the S. tuberosa faces a high risk to become extinct. This work aims to provide a first basis for a scientifically-backed, extensive cropping system for S. tuberosa on disturbed Caatinga sites meliorated by the use of biochar, clay substrate, and goat manure. The effect of biochar, clay substrate, and goat manure with or without additional mineral fertilization as soil conditioner in planting holes were tested in a 23-months field experiment in a marginal Arenosol. Further, it was studied, whether changed soil physical conditions support establishment and development of one-year-old S. tuberosa seedlings. At given application rates neither biochar nor clay substrate significantly affected soil physical parameters of the experimental soil. The application rate of 10 % v/v clay substrate, chosen from literature, seems to be too little to be affective on the experimental Arenosol, that was poor in fine particles (< 0.02 mm). The utilized biochar were proven hydrophobic and presumingly little porous duo to a low pyrolysis temperature. Both combined could explain the absence of a significant biochar‑mediated change of soil physical parameters. Goat manure significantly increased total porosity, and significantly reduced soil bulk density. The water content at permanent wilting point, and volumetric water content within the planting holes during the experiment were significantly increased owing to melioration with goat manure. Due to a strong correlation (R2 = 0.75) of water content at field capacity and water content at permanent wilting point, the available water capacity, an important target parameter for plant production, remained unchanged. Neither stem growth nor seedling survival was significantly affected by initial nutrient supplies or melioration. Conversely, fine root growth and root tuber growth were significantly affected by melioration. Goat manure in the planting holes led to significantly reduced fine root dry matter. Since fine root dry matter showed a weak but significant negative correlation with soil water content, the fine root reduction was evidently caused by increased soil water content resulting from goat manure application. The goat manure application also affected tuber growth significantly, and led to larger tubers. In contrast to the fine roots, root tuber growth did not respond to soil water content but showed a significant correlation with soil bulk density and total porosity. Reduced soil bulk density and increased soil porosity after goat manure addition application led to higher tuber volume


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