Written Paper

Changes in soil properties following conversion of Acacia senegal plantation to other land management systems in North Kordofan State, Sudan  [2009]

El Tahir, B.A. Ahmed, D.M. Ardö, J. Gaafar, A.M. et al.

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Changes in soil texture, bulk density, pH, concentrations and stocks of OC, N, P and K before and after conversion of a 6-year-old Acacia senegal plantation to other land management systems (LMS) were investigated, after three cropping seasons, in the drylands of western Sudan. LMS included pure and intercropped sorghum (PS), roselle (PR) and grasses (PG) with A. senegal at high- and low-tree densities (HD 433 and LD 266 trees ha-1). Significant changes included increase in coarse sand and a decrease in fine sand under pure and intercropped systems at LD; decrease in clay contents in PS and PR; an increase in clay ratio in all pure crops and HD + R; a decrease in aggregated mean concentrations of OC, N and P under all LMS by 42%, 68% and 45%, respectively; increase in soil pH under all LMS; a depletion of aggregated mean stocks of OC, N, P and K in all LMS by 38%, 30%, 52% 13%, respectively. The study established that wholesale tree clearance constitutes a major cause of soil degradation, and tree inputs and cycling of nutrients are of major importance to soil fertility in the study area.