Effect of agroecological practices on cultivated lixisol fertility in eastern Burkina Faso
Conservation and restoration of degraded agricultural soils are in fact two important factors of resilient agrosystems and food sovereignty in the context of global change in the Sudano-Sahelian zone. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of adaptive practices for the conservation and restoration of degraded agricultural lixisol. Soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH and soil microbiological activity were evaluated in soils surface layers on cultivated plots developed in zaï (Z) and in stone-rows (SR) with contribution of compost (C) since 2006, traditional practices (absolute witness AW) and uncultivated natural vegetation (NV) soils. The results showed that agroecological practices improve soil pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, electrical conductivity and available phosphorous compared to the absolute witnesses. There was also a decrease in the C/N ratio on the agroecological field relative to the controls. These practices had a positive effect on soil mineralization potential and the soil microorganism’s diversity. Substrate-induced respiration (SIR) for 15 carbon sources using the MicroResp technique under agroecological practices and natural vegetation were much higher than those under the absolute witness. Agroecological practices have a positive effect on the different parameters of soil fertility in the semi-arid zone and can thus restore degraded soils.
Keywords: Agroecology, stone-rows, zaï, compost, soil microbiology, Burkina Faso.