Soils, Ecosystem Processes, and Agricultural Development

Tropical Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Shinya Funakawa

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Shinya Funakawa
    Pages 1-7
  3. Distribution of Clay Minerals in Tropical Asia and Africa with Special Reference to Parent Materials (Geology) and Climatic Conditions

  4. Ecosystem Processes in Forest-Soil Systems Under Different Geological, Climatic, and Soil Conditions

  5. Human Adaptation of Agricultural Practices in Upland Soils Under Different Bio-climatic Conditions in Tropical Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

  6. Possible Strategies for Controlling Nutrient Dynamics in Future Agricultural Activities in the Tropics

About this book


The main objective of this book is to integrate environmental knowledge observed in local agriculture, based on the understanding of soils science and ecology, and to propose possible technical solutions and a more integrated approach to tropical agriculture. The chapters describe and analyze the ecological and technical countermeasures available for mitigating environmental degradation due to the increasing agricultural activities by humans, based on our scientific understanding of traditional agriculture in the tropics. This is an effective approach, as such ecological and technical tools previously involved in traditional activities are expected to be easily incorporated into present agricultural systems. The book starts with a rather classical pedological issue and analyzed traditional agricultural practices with different resource management strategies in terms of their modification of natural biological processes. It focuses on the present situation of tropical agriculture; that is, resource utilization in modern agriculture after application of technical innovation (increased application of chemical fertilizers as well as agricultural chemicals). Here, possible technical approaches to resource management that reasonably support agricultural production whilst mitigating environmental degradation are discussed. The negative impacts of agricultural development on our environment are rapidly growing, yet we are increasingly dependent on the agricultural sector for food and energy. The situation is similar in the tropics, where subsistence agriculture with low input management has long comprised most agricultural systems. Comparison of ecological and/or agronomical studies between different continents are still rare; therefore, this analysis may help clarify what is an essential problem when considering technical transportation beyond continents and/or between temperate and tropical regions.


Environmental agronomy Mineralogy Pedology Soil ecosystems Soil resources Tropical agriculture

Editors and affiliations

  • Shinya Funakawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Bibliographic information