Effects of Transhumance and Vegetation Type on Soil Quality of Rangelands in Northern Benin
Rodrigue V. Cao Diogo1, Luc Hippolyte Dossa2, Pénéloppe G. T. Gnavo1, Eva Schlecht3, Andreas Buerkert4
1University of Parakou, Dep. of Sci. and Techn. of Animal Prod. and Fisheries, Benin
Increasing use of natural rangelands by animal herds transhumant from the Sahel to coastal countries may affect the ecology of rangeland soils and food production in these countries. To elucidate this further, we evaluated the effects of transhumance and vegetation type on soil quality of rangelands in two municipalities of northern Benin (Sinende and Tchaourou). Two zones with different intensities of transhumance (Strong: ST and weak: WT) and three vegetation types (VT) namely open forest/woodland savannah, wooded savannah/shrubland savannahs and crop field mosaic were studied. Soil samples (1 kg of pooled soil samples) were collected from 90 plots of 100 m2 (60 on ST and 30 on WT zones) in 5 different spots of 1 m2 using an auger. The composite soil samples were analysed for texture, pH and organic matter contents using standard methods. In addition, soil compaction was monitored using a penetrometer at 5 cm depth.
Keywords: Livestock, natural pasture, pastoral mobility, rangeland soils
Contact Address: Rodrigue V. Cao Diogo, University of Parakou, Dep. of Sci. and Techn. of Animal Prod. and Fisheries, 123 Parakou, Benin, e-mail: dcao_bjyahoo.fr