Title: Effects of Indigenous Cultivation Practices on Soil Conservation in the Hilly Semiarid Areas of Western Sudan
Authors: Abdalla I. A. Ahmed, Ibrahim M. Eldoma, Elsadig ElMahdi A. H. Elaagip and Fujiang Hou
Impact Factor: IF2018=2.524 (环境科学与生态学3区)
Abstract: In dry regions, it is customary for farmers to use soil water conservation and/or water harvesting techniques. These practices have now become applicable to agriculturalists combating the adverse effects of drought on food production. In the semiarid areas of Zalingei in western Sudan, we quantified the soil erosion using traditional conservation measures, and conducted experiments in two consecutive rainy seasons (2013 and 2014). A split-split plot design was used to quantify the respective influences of each variable on reducing soil erosion: A) three gentle gradients (Slope1 (0.98%), Slope2 (1.81%), and Slope3 (3.1%)); B) two cropping systems (mono-crop and mixed-crops); and C) five indigenous conservation tillage practices—chisel ploughing (CHP), cross slope tied bonding (CSTB), contour ridge with stone bonds (CRSB), cross slope bonding (CSB), and zero tillage (ZT). Our results showed that there were significant differences between the slopes in season 2 (2014); the soil eroded at Slope3 was more than that of Slope1 and Slope2 by 71% and 27%, respectively. Over two seasons, there were no significant differences between the cropping systems. Conversely, the erosion level observed with CHP was higher than with the other practices. However, the CSTB and CSB erosion levels were only higher in season 2 when compared with those of CRSB and ZT. The study concluded that under the above conditions, the rate of soil erosion was severe and exceeded the erosion tolerance. Based on these results, in western Sudan, CRSB and ZT may be the more effective indigenous conservation practices for the protection of agricultural soils and productivity.