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Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya

(2014) JOURNAL OF ARID LAND. 6(5). p.561-570
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Abstract
Rangeland degradation is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa and its restoration is a challenge for the management of arid and semi-arid areas. In Lake Baringo Basin of Kenya, communities and individual farmers are restoring indigenous vegetation inside enclosures in an effort to combat severe land degradation and address their livelihood problems. This study evaluated the impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass, being key indicators of soil ecosystem health. Six reseeded communal enclosures using soil embankments as water-harvesting structures and strictly regulated access were selected, varying in age from 13 to 23 years. In six private enclosures, ranging from 3 to 17 years in age, individual farmers emulated the communal enclosure strategy and restored areas for their exclusive use. Significant decreases in bulk density, and increases in the soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and microbial biomass contents and stocks were found in the enclosures as compared with the degraded open rangeland. In the private enclosures, the impact of rehabilitation on the soil quality was variable, and soil quality was in general lower than that obtained under communal management. The significant increase of absolute stocks of carbon, nitrogen and microbial biomass compared to the degraded open rangeland indicates the potential for the restoration of soil quality through range rehabilitation. Over-sowing with indigenous legume fodder species could improve total nitrogen content in the soil and nutritional value of the pastures as well.
Keywords
rehabilitation, reseeding, Rangeland degradation, microbial biomass, enclosures, Kenya, soil quality, COMMUNAL GRAZING LANDS, RESTORATION, ECOSYSTEM, ETHIOPIA, DEGRADATION, EXCLOSURES, FUMIGATION, EXTRACTION, HIGHLANDS, GRASSES

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MLA
Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi, Ann Verdoodt, Charles KK Gachene, et al. “Impact of Enclosure Management on Soil Properties and Microbial Biomass in a Restored Semi-arid Rangeland, Kenya.” JOURNAL OF ARID LAND 6.5 (2014): 561–570. Print.
APA
Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi, Verdoodt, A., Gachene, C. K., Njoka, J. T., Wasonga, V. O., De Neve, S., Meyerhoff, E., et al. (2014). Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya. JOURNAL OF ARID LAND, 6(5), 561–570.
Chicago author-date
Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi, Ann Verdoodt, Charles KK Gachene, Jesse T Njoka, Vivian O Wasonga, Stefaan De Neve, Elizabeth Meyerhoff, and Eric Van Ranst. 2014. “Impact of Enclosure Management on Soil Properties and Microbial Biomass in a Restored Semi-arid Rangeland, Kenya.” Journal of Arid Land 6 (5): 561–570.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi, Ann Verdoodt, Charles KK Gachene, Jesse T Njoka, Vivian O Wasonga, Stefaan De Neve, Elizabeth Meyerhoff, and Eric Van Ranst. 2014. “Impact of Enclosure Management on Soil Properties and Microbial Biomass in a Restored Semi-arid Rangeland, Kenya.” Journal of Arid Land 6 (5): 561–570.
Vancouver
1.
Mureithi SM, Verdoodt A, Gachene CK, Njoka JT, Wasonga VO, De Neve S, et al. Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya. JOURNAL OF ARID LAND. 2014;6(5):561–70.
IEEE
[1]
S. M. Mureithi et al., “Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya,” JOURNAL OF ARID LAND, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 561–570, 2014.
@article{4413990,
  abstract     = {Rangeland degradation is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa and its restoration is a challenge for the management of arid and semi-arid areas. In Lake Baringo Basin of Kenya, communities and individual farmers are restoring indigenous vegetation inside enclosures in an effort to combat severe land degradation and address their livelihood problems. This study evaluated the impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass, being key indicators of soil ecosystem health. Six reseeded communal enclosures using soil embankments as water-harvesting structures and strictly regulated access were selected, varying in age from 13 to 23 years. In six private enclosures, ranging from 3 to 17 years in age, individual farmers emulated the communal enclosure strategy and restored areas for their exclusive use. Significant decreases in bulk density, and increases in the soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and microbial biomass contents and stocks were found in the enclosures as compared with the degraded open rangeland. In the private enclosures, the impact of rehabilitation on the soil quality was variable, and soil quality was in general lower than that obtained under communal management. The significant increase of absolute stocks of carbon, nitrogen and microbial biomass compared to the degraded open rangeland indicates the potential for the restoration of soil quality through range rehabilitation. Over-sowing with indigenous legume fodder species could improve total nitrogen content in the soil and nutritional value of the pastures as well.},
  author       = {Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi and Verdoodt, Ann and Gachene, Charles KK and Njoka, Jesse T and Wasonga, Vivian O and De Neve, Stefaan and Meyerhoff, Elizabeth  and Van Ranst, Eric},
  issn         = {1674-6767},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ARID LAND},
  keywords     = {rehabilitation,reseeding,Rangeland degradation,microbial biomass,enclosures,Kenya,soil quality,COMMUNAL GRAZING LANDS,RESTORATION,ECOSYSTEM,ETHIOPIA,DEGRADATION,EXCLOSURES,FUMIGATION,EXTRACTION,HIGHLANDS,GRASSES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {561--570},
  title        = {Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40333-014-0065-x},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2014},
}

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