Litter production and soil fertility in a Vitellaria paradoxa parkland in a catena in southern Mali

Traoré Kalifa B., Ganry Francis, Oliver Robert, Gigou Jacques. 2004. Litter production and soil fertility in a Vitellaria paradoxa parkland in a catena in southern Mali. Arid Land Research and Management, 18 (4) : pp. 359-368.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Many authors have expressed concerns about the evolution of soil fertility under cotton and cereal cultivation in southern Mali. Nevertheless, farmers have now cropped some of their fields for more than 30 years and still obtain fair yields. Our hypothesis is that the trees (mainly Vitellaria paradoxa) that farmers keep in their cropped fields help to maintain soil fertility. Consequently, we studied the relationships between the trees associated with crops and soil fertility on a sloped catena. On the lower section, 24 trees ha-1 cover 8% of the surface. They produce annually ~ 56.7kg of leaves per tree. Corresponding mineral recyclings, under the crown, are, per m2 and per year: 19 g N; 1 g P; 19 g K; 29 g Ca; 10 g Mg. The soil contains significantly more C and N under the crown of the trees than outside this area. V. paradoxa trees are less numerous on the middle section (3 ha-1) and on the top section (1.5 ha-1) of the catena than on the lower section, and consequently, their effect on the soil is decreasing from the lowlands to the uplands. On the lower section of the catena, the trees have an impact on the fertility of the whole field. Therefore, farmers intensify the cultivation in this section, which is the more favorable section of the catena. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Vitellaria paradoxa, Fertilité du sol, Litière forestière, Agroforesterie, Matière organique du sol, Sol de zone aride

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Mali

Classification Agris : P35 - Soil fertility
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Traoré Kalifa B., IER (MLI)
  • Gigou Jacques, CIRAD-CA-GEC (FRA)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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