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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/6160

Title: Effect of land-use conversion from forest to cocoa agroforest on soil characteristics and quality of a Ferric Lixisol in lowland humid Ghana
Authors: Dawoe, Evans K.
Quashie-Sam, James S.
Oppong-Amankwah, Samuel K.
Keywords: Land-use conversion
Cocoa agroforestry
Soil organic carbon
Deterioration/degradation index
Porosity
Nutrient stocks
Issue Date: 29-Nov-2013
Publisher: Agroforestry Systems
Citation: Agroforestry Systems, 2013
Abstract: Soil fertility decline caused by deforestation, soil degradation and low input use has become a primary factor limiting sustainable utilization of soil resources in cocoa agroforestry systems on acid soils in lowland humid Ghana. Changes in and responses of soil physico-chemical properties and soil quality to land-use change was investigated along a chronosequence of farm fields on a Ferric Lixisol in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Soil bulk density increased significantly only in the top 0–10 cm soil layer. Concentrations and stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total N decreased significantly in the top 0–10 and 10–20 cm soil depths. By 30 years after forest conversion, cocoa system had re-accumulated up to 38.8 Mg C ha-1 or 85 % of initial forest carbon stock values. Total porosity (%) decreased significantly in shaded-cocoa fields in comparison with the natural semi-deciduous forest. An assessment of soil deterioration using degradation indices (DIs) revealed that total soil quality (0–20 cm) deteriorated significantly (DI = –60.6) in 3-year-old of cocoa system but improved in 15 and 30-year-old systems. Available P stocks declined consistently while soil exchangeable Ca, K and Mg stocks as well as cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation remained more or less stable with a tendency to improve. The inclusion of leguminous shade trees during early plantation development, development of mechanisms for the integration of cover crops and enhancement of farmer capability in improved farm management are required to maintain high C and nutrient base, minimize soil quality degradation during plantation development phase and sustain long-term productivity.
Description: An article published by Agroforestry Systems on 29th November-2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/6160
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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