Advertisement

Shifting cultivation maintains but its conversion to mono-cropping decreases soil carbon and nitrogen stocks compared to natural forest in Western Ethiopia

  • Berhanu Terefe
  • Dong-Gill KimEmail author
Regular Article

Abstract

Aims

This study was conducted to assess the effects of shifting cultivation and its conversion to mono-cropping on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (STN).

Methods

We compared soil pH, texture, bulk density and SOC and STN contents and stocks (0–100 cm) in natural forest (NF), adjacent shifting cultivation (SC) areas (> 100 years old) having three (SC-3Y), five (SC-5Y) and seven (SC-7Y)-year-old fallowing, and 10 year-old mono-cropping field (MCF) converted from shifting cultivation in Western Ethiopia.

Results

There was no significant difference in soil pH in NF and all shifting cultivation areas. However, MCF had lower soil pH compared to SC-3Y and SC-5Y. There was no or very little difference in soil texture and bulk density across the study sites. Shifting cultivation did not affect SOC and STN stocks. However, conversion of shifting cultivation to mono-cropping decreased SOC (45–50% over 10 years; loss of 11.6 ± 0.2 Mg C ha−1 yr.−1) and STN stocks (18–45% over 10 years; loss of 0.6 ± 0.1 Mg N ha−1 yr.−1).

Conclusions

While shifting cultivation maintained SOC and STN, its conversion to mono-cropping decreased them, potentially contributing to global warming and decreasing soil fertility.

Keywords

Natural forest Shifting cultivation Mono-cropping Soil bulk density Soil organic carbon Soil nitrogen 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the farmers and staff of Gudeya Bila Wereda administrations and sectors, especially Development Agents members of Zengi station who allowed and supported us to conduct the study. We are also grateful to Weyinshet Aferik and Alima Gibiril for assisting in field and laboratory work, Habitamu Taddese for creating a map of the study areas and Zebene Asfaw, Fantaw Yimer, Mulugeta Limenih, Robert Sturtevant, Tracy Beedy, and Demel Teketay for constructive and valuable comments in the earlier manuscript. Financial support was provided by African Forest Forum, MRV project of Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP D1 50.16) Minimizing Farming Impacts on Climate Change by Enhancing Carbon and Nitrogen Capture and Storage in Agro-Ecosystems and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) project (NO. 2018-004) Strengthening the Capacity to Address Climate Change on Forestry Sector in Ethiopia.

References

  1. Boerner RE, Huang J, Hart SC (2009) Impacts of fire and fire surrogate treatments on forest soil properties: a meta-analytical approach. Ecol Appl 19:338–358.  https://doi.org/10.1890/07-1767.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bremner JM, Mulvaney CS (1982) Nitrogen-total. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis 2. Soil Sci Soc Am, Madison, pp 595–624Google Scholar
  3. Bruun TB, Mertez O, Eliberling B (2006) Linking yields of upland rice in shifting cultivation to fallow length and soil properties. Agric Ecosyst Environ 113:139–149.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2005.09.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bruun TB, de Neergard A, Lawrence D, Ziegler AD (2009) Environmental consequences of the demise in swidden cultivations in Southeast Asia: carbon storage and soil quality. Hum Ecol 37:375–388.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-009-9257-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruun TB, Neergaard A, Burup ML, Hepp CM, Larsen MN, Abel C, Aumtong S, Magid J, Mertz O (2017) Intensification of upland agriculture in Thailand: development or degradation? Land Degrad Dev 28:83–94.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.2596 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruun TB, Berry N, de Neergaard A, Xaphokahme P, McNicol I, Ryan CM (2018) Long rotation swidden systems maintain higher carbon stocks than rubber plantations. Agric Ecosyst Environ 256:239–249.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.09.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chan N, Takeda S, Suzuki R, Yamamoto S (2016) Assessments of biomass recovery and soil carbon storage of fallow forests after swidden cultivation in the Bago Mountains Myanmar. New For 47:565–585.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11056-016-9531-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Craswell ET, Sajjapongse A, Howlett DJB, Dowling AJ (1997) Agroforestry in the management of sloping lands in Asia and the Pacific. Agrofor Syst 38:121–137.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005960612386 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dalle SP, Pulido MT, de Blois S (2011) Balancing shifting cultivation and forest conservation: lessons from a "sustainable landscape" in southeastern Mexico. Ecol Appl 21:1557–1572.  https://doi.org/10.1890/10-0700.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davidson EA, De Abreusa Sá TD, Reis Carvalho CJ, De Oliveira Figueiredo R, Md K, Kato OR, Ishida FY (2008) An integrated greenhouse gas assessment of an alternative to slash and-burn agriculture in eastern Amazonia. Glob Chang Biol 14:998–1007.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01542.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Rouw A (1994) Effect of fire on soil, rice, weeds and forest regrowth in a rainforest zone (CÔte d’lvoire). Catena 22:133–152.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0341-8162(94)90022-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Delgado JA, Nearing MA, Rice CW, Donald LS (2013) Conservation practices for climate change adaptation. Adv Angron 121:47–115.  https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-407685-3.00002-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Don A, Schumacher J, Freibauer A (2011) Impact of tropical land-use change on soil organic carbon stocks – a meta-analysis. Glob Chang Biol 17:1658–1670.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02336.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dressler WH, Wilson D, Clendenning J, Cramb R, Keenan R, Mahanty S, Bruun TB, Mertz O, Lasco RD (2017) The impact of swidden decline on livelihoods and ecosystem services in Southeast Asia: a review of the evidence from 1990 to 2015. Ambio 46:291–310.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-016-0836-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Durgin PB, Vogelsang PJ (1984) Dispersion of kaolinite by water extracts of Douglas-fir ash. Can J Soil Sci 64:439–443.  https://doi.org/10.4141/cjss84-044 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eden MJ, Andrade A (1987) Ecological aspects of swidden cultivation among the Andoke and Witoto Indians of the Colombian Amazon. Hum Ecol 14:339–359.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00888030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Enkossa W (2008) Floristic analysis of Alata-Bolale forests in Gudeya Bila wereda, East Welega Zone, Oromia Regional state. MSc. Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  18. Fox J, Truong DM, Rambo TA, Tuyen NP, Cuc LT, Leisz S (2000) Shifting cultivation: a new old paradigm for managing tropical forests. BioScience 50:521–528. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0521:SCANOP]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
  19. Fox J, Fujita Y, Ngidang D, Peluso N, Potter L, Sakuntaladewi N, Sturgeon JM, Thomas D (2009) Policies, political – economy, and swidden in Southeast Asia. Hum Ecol 37:305–322.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-009-9240-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. GARDO (2006) Gudaya Bila Woreda Rural development office, Annual Report. Gudaya Bila WoredaGoogle Scholar
  21. Gee GW, Bauder J (1979) Particle size analysis by hydrometer: a simplified method for routine textural analysis and a sensitivity test of measurement parameters. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43:1004–1007.  https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1979.03615995004300050038x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gee GW, Or D (2002) Particle-size analysis. In: Dane JH, Topp CG (eds) Methods of soil analysis: part 4. Physical methods. Soil Science Society of America Inc. and American Society of Agronomy Inc., Madison, pp 255–293Google Scholar
  23. Geisseler D, Scow KM (2014) Long-term effects of mineral fertilizers on soil microorganisms- a review. Soil Biol Biochem 75:54–63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.03.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Geist HJ, Lambin EF (2002) Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation. BioScience 52:143–150. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0143:PCAUDF]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
  25. Gibbs HK, Brown S, Niles JO, Foley JA (2007) Monitoring and estimating tropical forest carbon stocks: making REDD a reality. Environ Res Lett 2:1–13.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/2/4/045023 Google Scholar
  26. Giovannini G, Lucchesi S, Giachetti M (1988) Effect of heating on some physical and chemical parameters related to soil aggregation and erodibility. Soil Sci 146:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grossman RB, Reinsch TG (2002) Bulk density and linear extensibility. In: Dane JH, Topp GC (eds) Methods of soil analysis. Part. 4 physical methods. Soil Science Society of America, Inc. and American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Madison, pp 201–254Google Scholar
  28. Grange I, Kansuntisukmongkol K (2003) Effect of fallow length on soil structure, hydraulic properties, and soil organic C in a swidden cultivation system of western Thailand. Trop Agric 80: 246–251Google Scholar
  29. Guo LB, Gifford RM (2002) Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis. Glob Chang Biol 8:345–360.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1354-1013.2002.00486.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hattorie D, Sabang J, Tanaka S, Kendawang JJ, Ninomiya I, Sakurai K (2005) Soil characteristics under three vegetation types associated with shifting cultivation in a mixed dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 51:231–241.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0765.2005.tb00027.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Heinimann A, Mertz O, Frolking S, Egelund Chistensen A, Humi K, Sedano F, Parsons Chini L, Sahajpal R, Hansen M, Hurtt G (2017) A global view of shifting cultivation: recent, current, and future extent. PLoS One 12(9):e0184479.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184479 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Johnson DW, Curtis PS (2001) Effects of fire forest management on soil C and N storage: a meta analysis. For Ecol Manag 140:227–238.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00282-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jones A, Breuning-Madsen H, Brossard M, Dampha A, Deckers J, Dewitte O, Gallali T, Hallett S, Jones R, Kilasara M, Le Roux P, Micheli E, Montanarella L, Spaargaren O, Hiombiano L, Van Ranst E, Yemefack M, Zougmoré R (2013) Soil atlas of Africa. European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, p 176Google Scholar
  34. Kilawe CJ, Mertz O, Birch-Thomsen T, Maliondo SM (2018) Transformation of shifting cultivation: extent, driving forces and impacts on livelihoods in Tanzania. Appl Geogr 94:84–94.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2018.03.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kim D-G, Kirschbaum MUF (2015) The effect of land-use change on the net exchange rates of greenhouse gases: a compilation of estimates. Agric Ecosyst Environ 208:114–126.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2015.04.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kim D-G, Taddese H, Belay A, Kolka R (2016) The impact of traditional fire management on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in a montane forest, southern Ethiopia. Int J Wildland Fire 25:1110–1116.  https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kleinman PJ, Bryant RB, Pimentel D (1996) Assessing ecological sustainability of slash-and-burn agriculture through soil fertility indicators. Agron J 88:122–127.  https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj1996.00021962008800020002x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kruskal WH, Wallis WA (1952) Use of ranks in one-criterion variance analysis. J Am Stat Assoc 47:583–621 https://www.jstor.org/stable/2280779 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lemma B, Kleja DB, Nilsson I, Olsson M (2006) Soil carbon sequestration under different exotic tree species in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Geoderma 136:886–898.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.06.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lucas RW, Klaminder J, Futter MN, Bishop KH, Egnell G, Laudon H, Hogberg P (2011) A meta-analysis of the effects of nitrogen additions on base cations: implications for plants, soils, and streams. For Ecol Manag 262:95–104.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.03.018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McLauchlan K (2006) The nature and longevity of agricultural impacts on soil carbon and nutrients: a review. Ecosystems 9:1364–1382.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-005-0135-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mertz O (2009) Trends in shifting cultivation and the REDD mechanism. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 1:156–160.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2009.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mertz O, Wadley RL, Nielsen U, Bruun TB, Colfer CJ, de Neergaard A, Jepsen MR, Martinussen T, Zhao Q, Noweg GT (2008) A fresh look at shifting cultivation: fallow length an uncertain indicator of productivity. Agric Sys 96: 75–84.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2007.06.002
  44. Mertz O, Padoch C, Fox J, Cramb RA, Leisz SJ, Lam NI, Vien TD (2009) Swidden change in Southeast Asia: understanding causes and consequences. Hum Ecol 37:259–264 https://www.jstor.org/stable/40343969 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Motulsky HJ, Christopoulos A (2004) Fitting models to biological data using linear and nonlinear regression: a practical guide to curve fitting. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Mukul SA, Herbohn J (2016) The impacts of shifting cultivation on secondary forests dynamics in tropics: a synthesis of the key findings and spatio temporal distribution of research. Environ Sci Pol 55:167–177.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.10.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Murty D, Kirschbaum MUF, Mcmutrie RE, Mcgilvra H (2002) Does conversion of forest to agricultural land change soil carbon and nitrogen? A review of the literature. Glob Chang Biol 8:105–123.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1354-1013.2001.00459.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nave LE, Vance ED, Swanston CW, Curtis PS (2011) Fire effects on temperate forest soil C and N storage. Ecol Appl 21:1189–1201.  https://doi.org/10.1890/10-0660.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Neergaard A, Magid J, Mertz O (2008) Soil erosion from shifting cultivation and other small holder land use in Sarawak, Malaysia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 125:182–190.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2007.12.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nye PH, Greenland DJ (1960) The soil under shifting cultivation, Technical Communications 51, Harpenden, UKGoogle Scholar
  51. Osman KS, Jashimuddin M, Haque SMS, Miah S (2013) Effect of shifting cultivation on soil physical and chemical properties in Bandarban hill district, Bangladesh. J For Res 24:791–795.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-013-0368-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Parrotta JA, Wildburger C, Mansourian S (2012) Understanding relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forest and people: The key to achieving REDD+ objectives, Aglobal assessment report. Global expert panel on Biodiversity, Forest Management, and REDD+ World Serous Volume 31. International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  53. Peng L, Zhiming F, Luguang J, Chenihual L, Jingua Z (2014) A review of swidden agriculture in Southeast Asia. Remote Sens 6:1654–1683.  https://doi.org/10.3390/rs6021654 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Post WM, Emanuel WR, Zinke PJ, Stangenberger AG (1982) Soil carbon pools and world life zones. Nature 298:156–159.  https://doi.org/10.1038/298156a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rahman SA, Rahman MF, Sunderland T (2012) Cause and consequences of shifting cultivation and its alternative in the hill tracts of eastern Bangladesh. Agrofor Syst 84:141–155.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-011-9422-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ribeiro Filho AA, Adams C, Murrieta RSS (2013) The impact of shifting cultivation on tropical forest soil: a review. Bol Mus Para Emílio Goeldi Ciênc hum 8:693–727.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S1981-81222013000300013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ribeiro Filho AA, Adams C, Manfrendini S, Aguilar R, Neves W (2015) Dynamics of soil chemical properties in shifting cultivation systems in the tropics: a Meta analysis. Soil Use Manag 31:474–482.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sum.12224 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roder W, Phengchanh S, Keoboulapha B (1995) Relationships between soil, fallow period, weeds and rice yield in slash-and-burn systems of Laos. Plant Soil 176:27–36.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00017672 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sarkar D, Bungbungcha Meitei C, Baishya LK, Aas A, Ghosh S, Chongloi LK, Rajkhowa D (2015) Potential of fallow chronosequence to conserve soil organic carbon in Northeast India. Catena 135:321–327.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2015.08.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schuck EC, Nganje W, Yantio D (2002) The role of land tenure and extension education in the adoption of slashes and burn agriculture. Ecol Econ 43:61–70.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(02)00180-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Shapiro SS, Wilk MB (1965) An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika 52:591–611 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2333709 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shi S, Zhang W, Zhang P, Yongqiang Y, Ding F (2013) A synthesis of change in deep SOC stores with afforestation of agricultural soils. For Ecol Mange 296:53–63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2013.01.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Six J, Bossuyt H, Degryze S, Denef K (2004) A history of research on the link between (micro) aggregates, soil biota, and soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Tillage Res 79:7–31.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2004.03.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Snyder CS, Bruulsema TW, Jensen TL, Fixen PE (2009) Review of greenhouse gas emissions from crop production systems and fertilizer management effects. Agric Ecosyst Environ 133:247–266.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2009.04.021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Soil Survey Staff (1999) Soil Taxonomy. A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys, 2nd edition. Agricultural Handbook 436, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, Washington DC, USA, pp 869Google Scholar
  66. Solomon D, Fritzszhe F, Lehmann J, Tekalign M, Zech W (2002) Soil organic matter dynamics in the subhumid agro ecosystems of the Ethiopian naturals. Soil Sci Am J 66:969–978.  https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2002.9690 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sombroek WG, Nachtergaele FO, Hebel A (1993) Amounts, dynamics and sequestering of carbon in tropical and subtropical soils. AMBIO 22:417–426 http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314120 Google Scholar
  68. Thomaz EL (2013) Slash-and-burn agriculture: establishing scenarios of runoff and soil loss for a five-year cycle. Agric Ecosyst Environ 168:1–6.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2013.01.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tian D, Niu S (2015) A global analysis of soil acidification caused by nitrogen addition. Environ Res Lett 10:024019.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/2/024019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van Vliet N, Mertz O, Heininmann A, Langanke T, Pascual U, Schmook B, Adams C, Schmidt-Vogt D, Messerli P, Leisz S, Castella J-C, Jørgensen L, Birch-Thomsen T, Hett C, Bech- Bruun T, Ickowitz A, Vu KC, Yasuyuki K, Fox J, Padoch C, Dressler W, Ziegler AD (2012) Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forest-agriculture frontiers: a global assessment. Glob Environ Chang 22:418–429.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.10.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wainkwa Chia R, Kim D-G, Yimer F (2017) Can afforestation with Cupressus lustanica restore soil C and N stocks depleted by crop cultivation to levels observed native systems? Agric Ecosyst Environ 241:67–75.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wairiu M, Lal R (2003) Soil organic carbon in relation to cultivation and top soil removal on sloping lands of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. Soil Tillage Res 70:19–27.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-1987(02)00116-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Walkley A, Black IA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter, and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Wan S, Hui D, Luo Y (2001) Fire effects on nitrogen pools and dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems: a meta- analysis. Ecol Appl 11:1349–1365. https://doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[1349:FEONPA]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
  75. Wei X, Shao M, Gale W, Li L (2014) Global pattern of soil carbon losses due to the conversion forests to agricultural lands. Sci Rep 4:4062.  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep04062 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Yimer F, Ledin S, Abdelkadir A (2007) Changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen contents in three adjacent land use types in the Bale Mountains, south-eastern highlands of Ethiopia. For Ecol Manag 242:337–342.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.01.087 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Ziegler AD, Fox JM, Webb EL, Padoch C, Leisz S, Cramb RA, Mertz O, Bruun TT, Vien TD (2011) Reorganizing contemporary roles of swidden agriculture in transforming landscapes of Southeast Asia. Conserv Biol 25:846–848 http://www.jstor.org/stable/27976544 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural ResourcesHawassa UniversityShashemeneEthiopia

Personalised recommendations