Browsing by Subject "SOIL FERTILITY"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Toure, Ibrahim; Larjavaara, Markku; Savadogo, Patrice; Bayala, Jules; Yirdaw, Eshetu; Diakite, Adama (2020)
    Land degradation (LD) in Mali is prevalent and leads to an enduring environmental and humanitarian crisis. Farmers' ecological knowledge has proven to be a valuable tool in addressing its challenges. How farmers perceive LD affects how they deal with induced risks, and their responses to these perceptions will shape restoration options and outcomes. Therefore, this study assessed farmers' perceptions of LD along a climatic gradient in three regions of Mali. We interviewed 270 farmers, and we analyzed their responses using descriptive statistics and Spearman rank‐order correlation. We found that the respondents were aware of LD and have identified its key indicators and its impacts on their livelihoods. Moreover, we found that farmers' perceptions are not influenced by gender, age, or education level, but rather by agricultural training, participation in agricultural labor, the practice of fallowing, shortage of firewood, livestock, household size, appearance of some plant species and famine. Additionally, farmers' perceptions of LD vary along the climatic gradient as they correlate to different variables in each agro‐ecological zone. LD's impacts, however, decrease in severity along the north–south gradient, although they are linked to the same variables. As LD is seen through a reduction of ecosystem services provisioning capacity because of the local communities' heavy dependence on natural resources, actions should be geared towards agronomic and vegetative land management options. Such actions should prioritize context‐specific soil and water conservation techniques and proven indigenous practices.
  • Mganga, Kevin Z.; Kaindi, Eric; Ndathi, Aphaxard J. N.; Bosma, Luwieke; Kioko, Theophilus; Kadenyi, Nancy; Musyoki, Gilbert K.; Wambua, Stephen; van Steenbergen, Frank; Musimba, Nashon K. R. (2021)
    Degradation characterized by depleted vegetation cover is a serious environmental problem in African rangelands. It poses a serious threat to millions of pastoralists and agropastoralists who depend on livestock as a source of livelihood. Consequently, there has been a growing global interest to consolidate efforts to restore degraded ecosystems. For example, the UN decade of Ecosystem Restoration initiative aims at uniting the world behind a common goal of preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems. Grass reseeding using native perennial species has been identified as one of the practical ecological strategies for restoring degraded African rangelands, enhancing vegetation cover and forage production. Knowledge of the multifaceted performance of African rangeland grasses in terms of morphoecological traits, interaction with weeds and water use efficiencies is however largely limited and often elusive. Perennial grasses indigenous to African rangelands Cenchrus ciliaris L. (African foxtail grass), Enteropogon macrostachyus (Hochst. Ex A. Rich.) Monro ex Benth. (Bush rye grass) and Eragrostis superba Peyr. (Maasai love grass), were established in an African semi-arid rangeland under natural conditions to fill this knowledge gap. Morphoecological plant traits: aboveground biomass (shoot, leaf and stem) production, plant densities, basal cover, tiller densities and plant height were measured 9 months after establishment. Interaction between the target grass species and weeds and water use efficiencies (WUE) were also determined. Enteropogon macrostachyus displayed significantly higher values for plant densities, tiller densities and basal cover, indices commonly used to estimate the potential of grasses for ecological restoration. Eragrostis superba produced the highest shoot biomass and water use efficiencies. This is attributed to its higher leafy biomass fraction. Higher aboveground biomass production of E. superba demonstrate its suitability for enhancing rangeland productivity. Cenchrus ciliaris suppressed the weeds. This is linked to its aggressive and allelopathic nature. In conclusion, the three perennial grasses displayed distinct morphoecological traits. In order to achieve successful seed-based restoration of degraded African rangelands using native perennial grasses, careful selection species to maximize on their unique traits is recommended. Ultimately, this selection process should match the desired restoration outcomes and subsequent use of the rangeland.