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The impact of sustainable Agroforestry on Carbon stock and Biodiversity conservation around Cyamudongo isolated rain forest in Rusizi and Huye Districts, Rwanda

  • The protected areas of Rwanda are facing various challenges resulting from the anthropogenic activities of the surrounding communities especially in the adjacent area to Cyamudongo isolated rain forest, which results in climate change, soil degradation, and loss of biodiversity. Therefore, this study aims to broaden current knowledge on the impact of sustainable Agroforestry (AF) on the Carbon (C) stock and Biodiversity conservation on the surroundings of Cyamudongo isolated rain forest and Ruhande Arboretum. To understand this, the permanent sample plots (PSPs) were established mainly in the designed four transects of four km long originating on the boundary of the Cyamudongo isolated rain forest following the slope gradient ranging from 1286 to 2015 m asl. A total number of 73 PSPs were established in the Cyamudongo study area while 3 PSPs were established in the Ruhande AF plot. The Arc Map GIS 10.4 was used to design and map the sampling areas while GPS was used for localization of collected items. Statistical significance was analyzed through the R-software especially for wood and soil variables while for biodiversity indicator species, MVSP Software 3.0 was used to determine the Shannon Diversity indices and similarities among species. In this study, I have obtained comprehensive results demonstrating that in all study areas, the various AF tree species contribute differently to C stock and C sequestration and the amount of C stored and removed from the atmosphere depends on different factors such as tree species, plantation density, growth stage, or the age of establishment, applied management practices, wood specific density (WSD), wood C concentration, and climatic conditions. The estimated quantity of sequestrated C for 2 years and 34 years AF species were 13.11 t C ha -1 yr-1 (equivalent to 48 t CO2 ha -1 yr-1) and 6.85 t ha-1 yr-1 (equivalent to 25.1 t CO2 ha -1 yr-1) in Cyamudongo and Ruhande respectively. The estimated quantity of C stored by the Ruhande AF plot is 232.94 t ha-1. In Cyamudongo, the overall C stored by the AF systems was 823 t ha-1 by both young tree species established by the Cyamudongo Project (35.84 t ha-1) and C stored by existed AF species before the existence of the Project (787.12 t ha-1). In all study areas, the Grevillea robusta was found to contribute more to overall stored C compared to other species under this study. The tests revealed differences in terms of nutrient contents (C, N, C: N ratio, K, Na, Ca, and Mg) for various AF tree species of Cyamudongo and Ruhande study areas. The differences in terms of correlation for various variables of AF tree species in different study areas varied with tree species, age, stage of growth, and tree shape. By comparing the correlation coefficients for various tree variables for young and mature AF tree species, the results showed a high correlation variability for young species than mature or old species recorded in different environmental conditions of Cyamudongo and Ruhande study areas. The recorded soil pH mean value across in Cyamudongo study area is 4.2, which is very strongly acidic. The tests revealed that the soil pH, C, C: N ratio, OM, NH4+, NO3-+NO2-, PO43-, and CEC were significantly (P < 0.05) different in various soil depths whereas the N was not statistically significant. The pH, N, C: N ratio, CEC, NH4+, PO43-, and Al3+ showed a significant difference across land uses whereas the C and NO3-+NO2- did not show any statistical difference. All tested chemical elements showed a statistical difference as far as altitude ranges are concerned. The only NH4+, PO43-, and CEC showed significant differences with time whereas all other remaining chemical elements did not show any statistical significance. The bulk density of soil was statistically different across land uses and altitude ranges. The soil pH was very strongly correlated with CEC, Mg, and Ca in cropland (CL) whereas it was strongly correlated in both AF and natural forest (NF) except for Mg, which was moderately correlated in AF. Furthermore, its correlation with K was strong in CL, moderate in AF while it was weak in NF. Finally, the pH correlation with Na was weak in both AF and CL whereas it was negligible in NF. The overall estimated soil C stock of the study area was 16848 t ha -1. The sustainable AF practices changed significantly the frequency of reptiles, amphibians, and flowering plants while there was no statistical change observed on ferns with time. In terms of species richness, 16 flowering plants, 14 ferns, 5 amphibians, and 3 reptiles were recorded and monitored. These findings add to a growing body of literature on the impact of AF on the C stock, soil improvement, and Biodiversity. It is recommended that further researches should be undertaken for the contribution of other AF tree species to the C stock found in the agricultural landscape around all protected areas of Rwanda and the impact on them on the soil and biodiversity.

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Author:Concorde Nsengumuremyi
Referee:Eberhard Fischer, Donat Nsabimana
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2021/11/16
Date of publication:2021/11/19
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz, Fachbereich 3
Date of final exam:2021/11/11
Release Date:2021/11/19
Number of pages:xvi, 221
Institutes:Fachbereich 3 / Institut für Integrierte Naturwissenschaften / Institut für Integrierte Naturwissenschaften, Abt. Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG