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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Role of Trees in Soil Organic Carbon Storage, Mali, West Africa

Authors
item Venteris, Erik
item MCCARTY, GREGORY
item Doumbia, Mamadou - IER, BAMAKO, MALI
item Doraiswamy, Paul

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2004
Publication Date: June 15, 2004
Citation: Venteris, E.R., McCarty, G.W., Doumbia, M., Doraiswamy, P.C. 2004. The role of trees in soil organic carbon storage, Mali, West Africa [abstract]. Abs. 52. BARC Poster Day.

Technical Abstract: A global market is emerging to reduce carbon emissions through the trading of carbon sequestration credits. One potential carbon sequestration method is to enhance the amount of organic matter in soil. A scientific investigation has been launched to facilitate the involvement of farmers in Mali in carbon credit trading. The potential monetary gains are essential for enhancing production to feed a growing population and to protect the soil resource for the future. Soil carbon is enhanced in Mali soils through a soil management practice known as ACdN. This technology involves building small berm-like dams (called ados) along contour within the fields. The dams reduce erosion and improve moisture relations, which in-turn enhances carbon storage. Production of maize, sorghum, millet and cotton in some fields has nearly doubled under this system. Maps of soil organic carbon are needed to evaluate gains made under ACdN as it becomes widely used. Maps are used as baselines to measure carbon gains and as boundary conditions to numerical models. Areas of interest larger than fields cannot be mapped accurately and efficiently with soil sample data alone. Correlation models between discrete soil measurements and continuous GIS data are needed. Previous work in Mali indicates that trees have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of carbon storage. If so, high resolution remote sensing imagery such as Quickbird can be used to make maps of carbon storage. 100 soil samples were collected, with half located under trees and half located within fields. The samples were distributed over several fields. Soil organic carbon concentration (% by mass) was measured using dry combustion. ANOVA tests confirmed that carbon levels are enhanced underneath trees. High resolution remote images will be a critical component to the mapping of carbon in Mali. However, the utility of additional data such as terrain information from digital elevation models cannot be ruled out.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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