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: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stock response to traditional enclosure management in eastern Ethiopia

Mohammed Mussa
  • Mohammed Mussa
  • Department of Animal and Range Science, Madda Walabu University, Bale-Robe, Ethiopia.
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Abule Ebro
  • Abule Ebro
  • International Livestock Research Institute-Livestock and Irrigation Value Chain Project for Ethiopian Smallholder farmers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Lissahanwork Nigatu
  • Lissahanwork Nigatu
  • Haramaya University, School of Natural Resource, Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 18 December 2015
  •  Accepted: 24 May 2016
  •  Published: 28 February 2017

Abstract

Traditional area enclosures are widely used by pastoralists in East Africa. However, the response of basic soil properties to the establishment of traditional enclosure management remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of area enclosure on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stock in the Bordade rangelands, eastern Ethiopia. The soil samples were collected from twelve area enclosures and openly grazed areas at a depth of 0 to 15 and 15 to 30 cm. The samples were analyzed for soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and bulk density. Establishment of area enclosure had significantly more 27.5% soil organic carbon and 27.5% total nitrogen stock compared with the area outside area enclosure. Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stock were significantly higher in the top 0 to 15 cm soil layer compared with 15 to 30 cm subsoil. Overall, the study showed that establishment of rangeland enclosures and the short-term resting period followed by dry season grazing at light stocking rate has the potential to improve soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stock, which is an option for realizing positive vegetation changes that support the local pastoral economy in the semiarid rangelands of eastern Ethiopia.

Key words: Carbon sequestration, enclosures, sequestration, total nitrogen stock.