Changes in Elemental Dynamics After Reclamation of Forest and Savanna in Cameroon and Comparison with the Case in Southeast Asia



To understand the effects of original vegetation (forest or savanna) on changes of solute leaching and proton budgets after reclamation of Oxisols in Cameroon, we quantified the soil nutrient fluxes in forest, adjacent savanna, and each adjacent maize cropland and compared with the case in Southeast Asia. In forest plot, excess cation accumulation in wood has contributed to soil acidification in the entire soil profile, while soil acidification rates were much lower in savanna plot because of limited plant uptake. As a result of cultivation, NO3 fluxes were substantially increased and nitrification was the main process of soil acidification in both croplands. Reflecting the nutrient flux pattern of original vegetation, protons generated by nitrification in forest cropland plot (9.4–10.1 kmolc ha−1 year−1) were significantly higher than that in savanna cropland (3.4–4.5 kmolc ha−1 year−1). The rate in savanna cropland was comparable to that in Thailand Ultisol (5.0 kmolc ha−1 year−1) with moderate soil pH and higher than that in Indonesian Ultisol (1.5 kmolc ha−1 year−1) with low pH. Despite low pH of bulk Oxisols of Cameroon, they would provide favorable habitat for nitrifiers with physically well-structured microaggregates, allowing active nitrification in the plots of Cameroon. High rate of nitrification suggests the risk of nutrient deficiency in cropland is more serious in nutrient-poor Oxisols. The effects of reclamation on soil acidification processes would depend on the original vegetation and also on soil pH and physical structure, which affect the nitrification activity. Since the ratio of K+ concentrations to sum of Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentrations increased with decreasing soil solution pH, the lower solution pH, which could stem from cultivation, might promote K leaching from cropland.


Soil Solution Soil Acidification Basic Cation Organic Matter Decomposition Original Vegetation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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