Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Horizontal flows of nitrogen, potassium, and carbon in urban vegetables gardens of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

  • Désiré Jean-Pascal Lompo
  • Emmanuel Compaoré
  • Michel Papaoba Sedogo
  • Martina Melapie
  • C. L. Bielders
  • Eva Schlecht
  • Andreas BuerkertEmail author
Original Article


Little is known about matter flows in intensive small scale production systems of urban agriculture in West Africa as an important criterion to assess their sustainability and environmental externalities. This study therefore investigated nutrient management practices in six selected urban vegetable gardens of Bobo Dioulasso, the second largest city of Burkina Faso. Nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and carbon (C) fluxes were quantified and nutrient balances calculated for three gardens representing typical commercial gardening + field crops and livestock systems (cGCL) and three gardens representing commercial gardening + semi-commercial field crop systems (cGscC). Inputs in all gardens exceeded the amounts recommended by the extension service by up to 709% for N and 434% for K leading to horizontal annual surpluses of 1013 kg N ha−1, 879 kg K ha−1, and 25 t C ha−1, while total balances were only positive for N and K, but negative for C. In both systems, apparent nutrient use efficiency was highest for K (85% and 54% for cGCL and cGscC) followed by N (66% and 44%). Management recommendations should be geared towards increasing N efficiencies by better tailoring nutrient supply to crop demands.


Matter balance Nutrient use efficiency Vegetable production West Africa 



The authors are grateful to the Volkswagen Stiftung, Hannover, Germany, for supporting this research financially under the Urban Food project (No. I/82 189).within the collaborative program ‘Resources, their dynamics, and sustainability–capacity–development in comparative and integrated approaches. We also would like to thank INERA, Burkina Faso, for comprehensive infrastructural support and to Dr. Sheick Ahmed Khalil S. B. Sangaré for a helpful companion study. We also express our gratitude for a very careful review process during which numerous critical comments of an anonymous reviewer and the journal editor were addressed.

Supplementary material

10705_2018_9949_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3613 kb)
10705_2018_9949_MOESM2_ESM.xls (3.6 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLS 3653 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)Bobo Dioulasso 01Burkina Faso
  2. 2.Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics (OPTAS)University of KasselWitzenhausenGermany
  3. 3.Université Ouaga 1 Pr. Joseph KI-ZERBOOuagadougou 03Burkina Faso
  4. 4.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)Ouagadougou 04Burkina Faso
  5. 5.Earth and Life InstituteUniversité Catholique de Louvain (UCL)Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  6. 6.Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of KasselWitzenhausenGermany
  7. 7.Animal Husbandry in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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