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SOIL An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-15
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-15
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Original research article 08 Apr 2019

Original research article | 08 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL).

Impacts of land use and topography on soil organic carbon in a Mediterranean landscape (north-western Tunisia)

Donia Jendoubi1,2, Hanspeter Liniger1, and Chinwe Ifejika Speranza2 Donia Jendoubi et al.
  • 1Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Bern, 3012, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, 3012,Switzerland

Abstract. This study evaluated the impact of land use and landscape forms on SOC within the Wadi Beja watershed in north-western Tunisia. A soil spectral library was set to assess the variation of the SOC of 1440 soil samples from four land use types (field crops, permanent crops, forest, and grazing land), three slope categories (flat, moderate, and steep) and two aspects (north- and south-facing). For field crops, only one factor – slope – significantly affected SOC, which SOC levels in north-facing areas appear higher in flat areas (0.75 %) than in hilly areas (0.51%). However, in south-facing areas, SOC levels were also higher in flat areas (0.74 %) than in hilly areas (0.50 %). For permanent crops, which was interplanted with field crops, the slope significantly affected SOC levels where SOC levels have been improved to 0.97 % in flat north facing and 0.96 % in flat south-facing areas, which are higher than hilly south – and north-facing areas (0.79 %). In the grazing land use system, both investigated factors – aspect and slope – significantly affected the SOC levels which, SOC levels were significantly higher in flat areas (north-facing: 0.84 %, south-facing: 0.77 %), compared to hilly areas (north-facing: 0.61 %, south-facing: 0.56 %). For the forest, none of the factors had a significant effect on the SOC, which they are higher in flat areas (north-facing: 1.15 %, south-facing: 1.14 %), compared to 1.09 % in north and 1.07 % in south-facing in steep areas. This study highlights the importance of the land use and landscape forms in determining the variation in SOC levels.

Donia Jendoubi et al.
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Donia Jendoubi et al.
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Latest update: 18 Jun 2019
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Short summary
This paper is an original research made in Northwest of Tunisia, it presents the impacts of the topography (slope and aspect) and the land use systems in the SOC storage in a Mediterranean area. It provide a soil spectral library, describe the variation of SOC under different conditions and highlight the positive impact of Agroforestry as good management in improving the SOC. Therefore this finding is very important to support decision making and inform sustainable land management in Tunisia.
This paper is an original research made in Northwest of Tunisia, it presents the impacts of the...
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