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dc.contributor.authorOwuor, S.O.
dc.contributor.authorButterbach-Bahl, Klaus
dc.contributor.authorGuzha, A.C.
dc.contributor.authorJacobs, S.
dc.contributor.authorMerbold, Lutz
dc.contributor.authorRufino, Mariana C.
dc.contributor.authorPelster, David E.
dc.contributor.authorDíaz-Pinés, Eugenio
dc.contributor.authorBreuer, L.
dc.identifier.citationOwuor, S.O., Butterbach-Bahl, K., Guzha, A.C., Jacobs, S., Merbold, L., Rufino, M.C., Pelster, D.E., Díaz-Pinés, E. and Breuer, L. 2018. Conversion of natural forest results in a significant degradation of soil hydraulic properties in the highlands of Kenya. Soil and Tillage Research 176:36–44.en_US
dc.description.abstractLand use change, especially conversion of native forests can have large impacts on water resources. Large scale conversion of native forests to agricultural land has occurred in the last few decades in the Mau Forest region. To quantify and understand landscape hydrologic responses, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of land use on soil infiltration, saturated hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, sorptivity, and soil moisture retention. A total of 136 plots representing five different land uses (native forest: n = 39, forest plantations: n = 14, tea plantations: n = 24, croplands: n = 23 and pasture: n = 36) were sampled in three catchments with similar parental material in the Mau Forest region, Western Kenya. Native forest topsoils (0–5 cm) had a bulk density of 1.0 ± 0.2 g cm−3 which was similar to values found for topsoils of forest plantations (1.1 ± 0.2 g cm−3), but significantly lower than topsoils from croplands (1.4 ± 0.2 g cm−3), tea plantation (1.3 ± 0.3 g cm−3) and pastures (1.4 ± 0.2 g cm−3). Similarly, soil infiltration rates were higher in native forest (76.1 ± 50 cm h−1) and in forest plantation (60.2 ± 47.9 cm h−1) than in croplands (40.5 ± 21.5 cm h‐1), tea plantations (43.3 ± 29.2 cm h−1) and pastures (13.8 ± 14.6 cm h−1). Native forest had the highest topsoil organic carbon contents (8.11 ± 2.42%) and field capacity (0.62 ±0.12 cm3 cm−3), while the highest permanent wilting point was recorded for pasture soils (mean of 0.41 ± 0.06 cm cm−3). The highest plant available water capacity was recorded for soils in native forest (mean of 0.27 ± 0.14 cm cm−3). Our study indicates that land use changes result in a significant degradation of soil hydraulic properties, which has likely resulted in changes of the regional water balance. Given the magnitude in which managed land use types have changed infiltration rates in our study area, we conclude that changes in land use types occurring in our study region in the last decades have already affected the hydrological regime of the landscapes and the compositions of flow components. The reduction in infiltration and hydraulic conductivity could result in increased surface run-off, erosion and frequency of flooding events.en_US
dc.sourceSoil and Tillage Researchen_US
dc.titleConversion of natural forest results in a significant degradation of soil hydraulic properties in the highlands of Kenyaen_US
dc.description.versionPeer Reviewen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
cg.authorship.typesCGIAR and advanced research instituteen_US
cg.identifier.statusLimited Accessen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationKarlsruhe Institute of Technologyen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationInternational Livestock Research Instituteen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationUnited States Department of Agricultureen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationCenter for International Forestry Researchen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationLancaster Universityen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austriaen_US
cg.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Giessenen_US
cg.fulltextstatusFormally Publisheden_US
cg.isijournalISI Journalen_US
cg.coverage.regionEAST AFRICAen_US
cg.creator.idKlaus Butterbach-Bahl: 0000-0001-9499-6598
cg.creator.idLutz Merbold: 0000-0003-4974-170X
cg.creator.idDavid Pelster: 0000-0002-0461-7855

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