Effects of enclosure management on carbon sequestration, soil properties and vegetation attributes in East African rangelands
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Feyisa, K., Beyene, S., Angassa, A., Said, M.Y., Leeuw, J. de, Abebe, A. and Megersa, B. 2017. Effects of enclosure management on carbon sequestration, soil properties and vegetation attributes in East African rangelands. CATENA 159:9-19.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/83141
The use of enclosures has globally gained popularity as an effective strategy to enhance soil carbon sequestration, but empirical evidence is lacking particularly in arid and semi-arid rangelands of Africa. This study addressed the effectiveness of long-term (15–37 years old) enclosures in enhancing soil carbon sequestration in a semi-arid rangeland of Southern Ethiopia. We tested for differences in soil properties and vegetation characteristics between enclosures and adjacent open-grazed areas, while accounting for effects of age of enclosures and soil depths. Three enclosures age categories (< 20, 20–30 and > 30 years) each paired with adjacent open-grazed areas were selected. We collected soil samples at three soil depths (0–5 cm, 5–15 cm and 15–30 cm), and vegetation attributes from 90 plots within 9 enclosures and adjacent open grazing sites. The results showed that soil properties did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between the two management systems across the three soil depths. However, relatively higher soil organic carbon content and stock was recorded in the enclosures than open-grazed lands. We recorded an overall mean of soil organic carbon stock of 39.6 ± 3.5 Mg ha− 1 in enclosures of < 20 years old, 40.8 ± 3.4 Mg ha− 1 in enclosures of 20–30 years old and 51.0 ± 4.4 Mg ha− 1 in enclosures of > 30 years old. The soil organic carbon stock for the adjacent open-grazed areas ranged from 34.4 ± 2.5 to 47.9 ± 5.1 Mg ha− 1. The age of enclosures did not show any significant effect on soil organic carbon stocks. However, enclosure management had a significant (P ≤ 0.05) effect on vegetation attributes. We concluded that enclosure had a significant role in terms of soil carbon sequestration and adaptation to climate change.
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