Burning, biomass removal and tillage effects on soil organic carbon and nutrients in seasonal wetlands (Dambos) of Chiota smallholder farming area, Zimbabwe

Nyamadzawo, G and Wuta, M and Nyamangara, J and Nyamugafata, P and Tendayi, T (2014) Burning, biomass removal and tillage effects on soil organic carbon and nutrients in seasonal wetlands (Dambos) of Chiota smallholder farming area, Zimbabwe. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science. pp. 1-17. ISSN 1476-3567

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Abstract

Seasonal wetland (dambo) cultivation in smallholder farming areas is important because it improves household food security. However, most farming practices, such as burning of vegetation and conventional tillage in dambo gardens, may reduce soil organic carbon (SOC) and nutrient dynamics. We evaluated the effects of simulated burning, vegetation clearing and clipping, and conventional tillage in dambo gardens on SOC, nutrient contents and biomass production over a 3-year period. The results showed that clearing and clipping of vegetation and conventional tillage reduced SOC, soil nutrient contents and biomass yields, while burning increased SOC and soil nutrient contents. For the 0–10 cm depth, conventional tillage, clearing and clipping resulted in a 37%, 34% and 18% decrease in SOC, respectively, after three seasons, burning resulted in a 25% increase in SOC, while there were no changes in the control after 3 years. For the 0–40 cm depth, the average change in SOC was 32%, 25% and 16% for conventional tillage, clearing and clipping, respectively. Locally and regionally, conventional tillage, clearing and clipping reduce SOC, nutrient contents and biomass production in dambos. Though annual burning increased SOC and nutrient contents in the short term, the long-term effects are uncertain, hence there is a need for long-term studies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Resilient Dryland Systems
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
Uncontrolled Keywords: dambo (seasonal wetland), conventional tillage, soil organic carbon, nutrient contents, biomass removal
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 03:48
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2016 09:35
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/7581
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2014.892583
Projects: UNSPECIFIED
Funders: International Foundation of Science (IFS) - grant number C/4569-1, DAAD Fellowship - grant number A/10/03022
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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