Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Carbon Sequestration and Soil Restoration Potential of Grazing Lands under Exclosure Management in a Semi-Arid Environment of Northern Ethiopia

Version 1 : Received: 24 March 2018 / Approved: 26 March 2018 / Online: 26 March 2018 (08:17:48 CEST)

How to cite: Gebregergs, T.; Tessema, Z.K.; Solomon, N.; Birhane, E. Carbon Sequestration and Soil Restoration Potential of Grazing Lands under Exclosure Management in a Semi-Arid Environment of Northern Ethiopia. Preprints 2018, 2018030207 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0207.v1). Gebregergs, T.; Tessema, Z.K.; Solomon, N.; Birhane, E. Carbon Sequestration and Soil Restoration Potential of Grazing Lands under Exclosure Management in a Semi-Arid Environment of Northern Ethiopia. Preprints 2018, 2018030207 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0207.v1).

Abstract

Exclosures are used to regenerate native vegetation as a way to reduce soil erosion, increase rain water infiltration and provide fodder and woody biomass in degraded grazing lands. Therefore, this study assessed the impact of grazing exclosure on vegetation biomass, carbon sequestration and soil nutrients under five and ten years of grazing exclosures and freely grazed areas in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Vegetation biomass, carbon stocks and soil nutrients increased with increasing grazing exclusion. However, open grazing lands and five years of grazing exclosure did not differ in aboveground biomass, above-and-belowground carbon stocks. Moreover, ten years of grazing exclosure had a higher (P<0.01) grass, herb and litter carbon stocks compared to five years exclosure and open grazing lands. The total carbon stock was higher for ten years exclosure (193.3 t C ha-1) than the five years exclosure (154.0 t C ha-1) and in open grazing areas (146.6 t C ha-1). Grazing lands closed for ten years had a higher SOC, organic matter, total N, available P, and exchangeable K+ and Na+ compared to five year’s exclosure and open grazing lands. Therefore, establishment of grazing exclosures had a positive effect in restoring degraded grazing lands, thus improving vegetation biomass, carbon sequestration potentials and soil nutrients under the changing climate and global warming.

Subject Areas

above-ground carbon stock; below-ground carbon stock; soil nutrients; exclosure

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