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The Effects of Trees on Soil Chemistry


Vincent Habumugisha, Khaldoon A. Mourad* and Léonidas Hashakimana   Pages 1 - 10 ( 10 )


Trees often affect the chemical properties of soils, positively or negatively. This paper studied the effects of Podocarpus falcatus and Markhamia lutea trees on soil chemistry in Ruhande Arboretum, Rwanda. Soil samples were collected using Zigzag method in Arboretum forest of Ruhande from different depths (0-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm). For each plot, 25 samples were collected to make one composite sample per plot for each depth. The results showed that tree species contributed to the changes of soil chemistry along the depths of the soil layers. The laboratory analyses showed that there is a high significant influence of tree species on soil pH and Aluminum ions Al3+. However, it was observed that there is no significant influence of Podocarpus falcatus and Markhamia lutea species on the available phosphorus or on the total exchangeable acidity. On the other hand, analysing soil samples under Markhamia lutea showed an increase in the total nitrogen and a decrease in pH and available phosphorus. As a recommendation, under acidic soils, forestry and agroforestry actors should use less acidifying tree species, such as Markhamia lutea and Podocarpus falcatus.


Rwanda, Podocarpus falcatus, Markhamia lutea, phosphorus, exchangeable acidity, cation exchange Rwanda, cation exchange capacity


Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, Lund, College of Agriculture, University of Rwanda

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