Title: Humus Form Development during Forest Restoration in Exclosures of the Tigray Highlands, Northern Ethiopia
Authors: Descheemaeker, Katrien ×
Muys, Bart
Nyssen, Jan
Sauwens, Wim
Haile, Mitiku
Poesen, Jean
Raes, Dirk
Deckers, Jozef A. #
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Publisher: Blackwell Science, Inc.
Series Title: Restoration Ecology vol:17 issue:2 pages:280-289
Abstract: Forest restoration in protected exclosures has become
a common practice to fight land degradation in the highlands
of northern Ethiopia. Insights into ecosystem processes
governing restoration in these formerly degraded
areas are gained through the study of humus forms and
factors influencing humus formation during vegetation
recovery. Humus forms of 135 sample plots located in different land use types were morphologically described. The
subsequent classification into six humus form types was
based on principal component analysis and cluster analysis.
Where areas are closed for a longer time, humus profiles
are commonly more developed and higher organic matter accumulation is noticed as well as increased nutrient
stocks. The combined effects of seasonal drought conditions
and low fresh litter quality account for an overall
slow decomposition, which explains the high importance
of litter input for organic matter accumulation. Based on
a correlation analysis, vegetation cover, litter production,
litter quality, soil nutrient content, soil moisture, and
topography were identified as important factors influencing
humus formation. It is inferred that humus formation
leads to improvements in soil fertility and structure,
microclimate development, and soil protection and therefore
forms part of the restoration processes taking place in
ISSN: 1061-2971
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
Division Soil and Water Management
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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