Managing Organic Matter in Tropical Soils: Scope and Limitations

Proceedings of a Workshop organized by the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (ZEF Bonn) — Germany, 7–10 June, 1999

  • Editors
  • C. Martius
  • H. Tiessen
  • P. L. G. Vlek

Part of the Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences book series (DPSS, volume 93)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. E. T. Craswell, R. D. B. Lefroy
    Pages 7-18
  3. C. Feller, A. Albrecht, E. Blanchart, Y. M. Cabidoche, T. Chevallier, C. Hartmann et al.
    Pages 19-31
  4. David S. Powlson, Penny R. Hirsch, Philip C. Brookes
    Pages 41-51
  5. Patrick Lavelle, Eleusa Barros, Eric Blanchart, George Brown, Thierry Desjardins, Lucero Mariani et al.
    Pages 53-61
  6. Cheryl A. Palm, Ken E. Giller, Paramu L. Mafongoya, M. J. Swift
    Pages 63-75
  7. Nguyen The Dang, Christoph Klinnert
    Pages 89-97
  8. H. Tiessen, E. V. S. B. Sampaio, I. H. Salcedo
    Pages 99-103
  9. Francis Ganry, Christian Feller, Jean-Michel Harmand, Hervé Guibert
    Pages 105-118
  10. Pedro L. O. de A. Machado, Carlos A. Silva
    Pages 119-130
  11. C. Quansah, P. Drechsel, B. B. Yirenkyi, S. Asante-Mensah
    Pages 205-213
  12. Luciano Marçal da Silveira, Holm Tiessen, Jean Philippe Tonneau
    Pages 215-223
  13. Holm Tiessen, Deanna Billo, Saskia van Oosterhoud
    Pages 225-229

About this book


Soil organic matter is a reservoir for plant nutrients, provides water-holding capacity, stabilizes soil structure against compaction and erosion, and thus determines soil productivity. All agriculture to some degree depends on soil organic matter. It has long been known that soil organic matter declines when land is taken into cultivation, and that the productivity of new agricultural land is governed by fertility contributions from decomposing natural organic matter. The expansion of agriculture to ever new and more fragile lands, particularly in tropical and developing regions, causes environmental degradation with local effects on soil quality, regional effects on landscape integrity and water quality, and global effects on carbon cycles and the atmosphere.

This book summarizes current knowledge of the properties and dynamics of soil organic matter in the tropics, its role in determining soil quality, its stability and turnover, and the options for management in the context of tropical landuse systems, for a readership of resource scientists, economists and advanced students. Maintenance of organic matter is critical for preventing land degradation. Case studies and practical applications are therefore an important part of the book, as are the exploration of future directions in research and management.


Erosion Soil fertility Tillage microorganism soil soil quality

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5947-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-2172-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site