, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 103-111

Effects of tree clumps on soil characteristics in a humid savanna of West Africa (Lamto, Côte d'Ivoire)

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The effect of tree clumps on soil characteristics was investigated in a humid savanna (Lamto, Côte d'Ivoire). Soil texture and field capacity were not significantly different under tree clumps compared to open grassland. On the other hand, bulk density was lower under tree clumps, likely due to a greater soil fauna activity under the trees. The pH, available phosphorus, cation exchange capacity, total carbon and total nitrogen contents were higher under tree clumps due to greater organic matter input beneath canopies. Potential soil respiration and mineral nitrogen accumulation were also enhanced, indicating a higher potential microbial activity under tree clumps. Soil water content was slightly lower beneath canopies (from July to November only between 0 and 10 cm depth) when soil moisture was above field capacity. During the other months, no significant difference was measured.