Quantified soil evolution under shifting agriculture in Southern Cameroon

Martin Yemefack*, Rosaline Njomgang, David G. Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the tropical rain forest zone of Southern Cameroon, shifting cultivation and perennial plantations of cocoa are the main farming systems practiced by small-scale farmers to ensure subsistence food crop production and a small income. This research used scientific modeling tools to produce quantitative information on the evolution of soils under this shifting agricultural system. An analysis of farming system led to the development of a conceptual model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of shifting agriculture, including transition matrices of rotational cycles that guided the sampling strategy for the study of soil evolution under the system. The study of soil variability showed that 30-35% of the total variance of some topsoil (0-20 cm) properties was due to the influence of land use practices. Five soil properties (pH, calcium, available phosphorus, bulk density and organic carbon) that are the most sensitive to these agricultural practices were empirically modeled and linear/quadratic fractional rational functions were successfully fitted to time series soil variables to derive quantitative measures on temporal changes in soil with land use. Data and methods produced are useful for soil quality assessment and spatio-temporal dynamic simulation in order to guide decision-making for sustainable land-use planning and soil resources management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalFrontiers in Environmental Science
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

agriculture
farming system
soil
land use
cocoa
shifting cultivation
agricultural practice
land use planning
subsistence
soil quality
crop production
topsoil
bulk density
resource management
soil property
plantation
calcium
organic carbon
decision making
income

Keywords

  • Modeling soil dynamics
  • Shifting agriculture
  • Soil evolution
  • Soil properties dynamics
  • Southern Cameroon
  • Tropical rain forest

Cite this

@article{36cf521bd9064de5820cfdeb9e683113,
title = "Quantified soil evolution under shifting agriculture in Southern Cameroon",
abstract = "In the tropical rain forest zone of Southern Cameroon, shifting cultivation and perennial plantations of cocoa are the main farming systems practiced by small-scale farmers to ensure subsistence food crop production and a small income. This research used scientific modeling tools to produce quantitative information on the evolution of soils under this shifting agricultural system. An analysis of farming system led to the development of a conceptual model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of shifting agriculture, including transition matrices of rotational cycles that guided the sampling strategy for the study of soil evolution under the system. The study of soil variability showed that 30-35{\%} of the total variance of some topsoil (0-20 cm) properties was due to the influence of land use practices. Five soil properties (pH, calcium, available phosphorus, bulk density and organic carbon) that are the most sensitive to these agricultural practices were empirically modeled and linear/quadratic fractional rational functions were successfully fitted to time series soil variables to derive quantitative measures on temporal changes in soil with land use. Data and methods produced are useful for soil quality assessment and spatio-temporal dynamic simulation in order to guide decision-making for sustainable land-use planning and soil resources management.",
keywords = "Modeling soil dynamics, Shifting agriculture, Soil evolution, Soil properties dynamics, Southern Cameroon, Tropical rain forest",
author = "Martin Yemefack and Rosaline Njomgang and Rossiter, {David G.}",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Frontiers in Environmental Science",
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}

Quantified soil evolution under shifting agriculture in Southern Cameroon. / Yemefack, Martin; Njomgang, Rosaline; Rossiter, David G.

In: Frontiers in Environmental Science, Vol. 7, 16, 28.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantified soil evolution under shifting agriculture in Southern Cameroon

AU - Yemefack, Martin

AU - Njomgang, Rosaline

AU - Rossiter, David G.

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Y1 - 2019/2/28

N2 - In the tropical rain forest zone of Southern Cameroon, shifting cultivation and perennial plantations of cocoa are the main farming systems practiced by small-scale farmers to ensure subsistence food crop production and a small income. This research used scientific modeling tools to produce quantitative information on the evolution of soils under this shifting agricultural system. An analysis of farming system led to the development of a conceptual model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of shifting agriculture, including transition matrices of rotational cycles that guided the sampling strategy for the study of soil evolution under the system. The study of soil variability showed that 30-35% of the total variance of some topsoil (0-20 cm) properties was due to the influence of land use practices. Five soil properties (pH, calcium, available phosphorus, bulk density and organic carbon) that are the most sensitive to these agricultural practices were empirically modeled and linear/quadratic fractional rational functions were successfully fitted to time series soil variables to derive quantitative measures on temporal changes in soil with land use. Data and methods produced are useful for soil quality assessment and spatio-temporal dynamic simulation in order to guide decision-making for sustainable land-use planning and soil resources management.

AB - In the tropical rain forest zone of Southern Cameroon, shifting cultivation and perennial plantations of cocoa are the main farming systems practiced by small-scale farmers to ensure subsistence food crop production and a small income. This research used scientific modeling tools to produce quantitative information on the evolution of soils under this shifting agricultural system. An analysis of farming system led to the development of a conceptual model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of shifting agriculture, including transition matrices of rotational cycles that guided the sampling strategy for the study of soil evolution under the system. The study of soil variability showed that 30-35% of the total variance of some topsoil (0-20 cm) properties was due to the influence of land use practices. Five soil properties (pH, calcium, available phosphorus, bulk density and organic carbon) that are the most sensitive to these agricultural practices were empirically modeled and linear/quadratic fractional rational functions were successfully fitted to time series soil variables to derive quantitative measures on temporal changes in soil with land use. Data and methods produced are useful for soil quality assessment and spatio-temporal dynamic simulation in order to guide decision-making for sustainable land-use planning and soil resources management.

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KW - Soil properties dynamics

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KW - Tropical rain forest

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