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https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-87
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2019-87
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: original research article 08 Jan 2020

Submitted as: original research article | 08 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SOIL.

Soil Aggregate Stability of Forest Islands and Adjacent Ecosystems in West Africa

Amelie Baomalgré Bougma1, Korodjouma Ouattara1, Halidou Compaore1, Hassan Bismarck Nacro2, Caleb Melenya3, Samuel Ayodele Mesele4, Vincent Logah3, Azeez Jamiu Oladipupo4, Elmar Veenendaal5, and Jonathan Lloyd6,7,8 Amelie Baomalgré Bougma et al.
  • 1Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Burkina Faso, 04 BP 8645 Ouagadougou 04, Burkina Faso
  • 2Université Nazi BONI (UBN), 01 BP 910, Bobo, 01 Burkina Faso
  • 3Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
  • 4Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), PMB 2240 Abeokuta, Nigeria
  • 5Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 6Department of Life Science, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK
  • 7School of Tropical and Marine Sciences and Centre for Terrestrial Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, 4870, Queensland, Australia
  • 8Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Av Bandeirantes, 3900, CEP 14040-16901, Bairro Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Abstract. In the more mesic savanna areas of West Africa, significant areas of relatively tall and dense vegetation with a species composition more characteristic of forest than savanna are often found around villages areas. These forest islands may be the direct action of human activity. To better understand the processes leading to the development of these patches with relatively luxuriant vegetation, our study focused on the stability of the soil aggregates of forest islands, nearby areas of natural savanna vegetation across a precipitation transect in West Africa for which mean annual precipitation at the study sites ranges from 0.80 to 1.27 m a−1. Soil samples were taken from 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 10 cm depths and aggregate fractions with diameters: > 500 μm, 500–250 μm and 250–53 μm (viz. macro aggregates, mesoaggregates and microaggregates) determined using the water sieving method. The results showed significant higher proportion of stable meso and macro- aggregates in forest islands and natural savanna compared to agricultural soils (p < 0.05). On the other hand, although there was no effect of land-use type on microaggregates stabilities, there was a strong tendency for the micro-aggregate fraction across all land use types to increase with increasing precipitation. Simple regression analyses showed soil organic carbon and iron oxides contents as the most important factors influencing aggregate stability in West African ecosystems.

Amelie Baomalgré Bougma et al.

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Amelie Baomalgré Bougma et al.

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Short summary
To better understand the development of forest islands in west Africa, our study focused on soil aggregates stability of these patches across a precipitation transect. Soil samples were taken from 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 10 cm depths and aggregate fractions with diameters: > 500, 500–250 μm and 250–53 μm determined using the water sieving method. The results showed significant higher proportion of stable meso and macroaggregates in forest islands and natural savanna compared to agricultural soil.
To better understand the development of forest islands in west Africa, our study focused on soil...
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