Impact of Jatropha plantation on soil chemical and biological properties in the South Sudanian region in Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, about 100,000 ha of Jatropha were planted during the past 10 years. Despite this enthusiasm, few results exist on the impact of the plant on soil properties. This study contributes to better knowledge of Jatropha farming and was carried out in 2013 with Jatropha farmers in Torokoro and Tin villages in the south Sudanian zone of Burkina Faso (rainfall 900-1200 mm). Data collection plots of 400 m2 repeated 3 times were installed in 3 farmers’ fields in each village. Soil samples were collected at 3 distances (D0= under the crown, D1= 1m and D2= 2m) from the Jatropha trees lines and in a fallow as a control sample for each field. The results showed significant differences between distances for soil pH. Soil nutrients increase with distance from the crown (from 9.33% to 12.20%) for available phosphorus in Torokoro-6 years and decrease from 22.45% to 23.71% in Torokoro-2 years). Soil respiration and microbial biomass decreases also with distance. The density of spores of mycorrhizal fungi is higher for the control soils (14.64%) and it decreases from crown to 2m (from 2.22% to 9.53% in Tin-2 years). The study showed the contribution of Jatropha trees on soil fertility improvement.
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Keywords: Jatropha, soil biology, microbial biomass, carbon, nitrogen, Burkina Faso
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