Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 287

Full Length Research Paper

Soil properties and carbon sequestration under desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca) in the lowlands of Northern Ethiopia

Girma Tilahun
  • Girma Tilahun
  • Department of Water Mines and Energy, Western Tigray Zone, P. O. Box 111, Humera, Tigray, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
Fassil Kebede
  • Fassil Kebede
  • College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, P. O. Box 231, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
Solomon Haftu
  • Solomon Haftu
  • College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, P. O. Box 231, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 07 April 2015
  •  Accepted: 15 June 2015
  •  Published: 01 August 2015

Abstract

This study assessed the effect of Balanites aegyptiaca on soil properties and carbon sequestration. A 100 × 100 m plot of entirely the same biophysical setting was delineated. Nine trees of relatively the same diameter at breast height (DBH) were selected to study the effect of the tree on soil properties. In total, 81 soil samples were collected from three radii distances from each tree, that is 0 - 2, 2 - 4, and 4 – 8 m at three soil depths of 0 - 20, 21 - 50 and 51 – 100 cm. Soil analysis was carried out following routine laboratory procedures. The carbon sequestration potential of the tree was determined by taking 0.5 g sample specimen from each tree. The highest productivity was observed at the radial distance of 0 - 2 followed by 2 - 4 and 4 – 8 m with the productivity indices of 0.74, 0.63 and 0.58, respectively. The highest amount of CO2e (235.7 kg tree-1) was sequestered in older trees with a DBH range of 17 - 19 cm as compared to younger ones (56.9 kg tree-1) with the DBH range of 8 - 10 cm. Therefore, this tree has a significant effect on soil fertility improvement and climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and as a result, it is important to retain B. agyptiaca on farmlands.

 

Key words: Balanites aegyptiaca, soil properties, carbon sequestration, Kafta Humera Woreda.