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05 - Benchmarking edaphic properties of Arabuko Sokoke forest for long-term biodiversity monitoring

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XXV IUFRO WORLD CONGRESS

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Abstract

Biodiversity monitoring is an essential aspect of effective forest resource conservation and sustainable management. Monitoring edaphic properties of a forest is a useful tool in forest biodiversity assessments due to the role played by different soil properties in forest regeneration. Spatial and temporal monitoring of soil functions and dynamics provides vital information on response of forest soil to changes in climate, pollution and forest management practices. In light of this, a study was initiated at Arabuko Sokoke forest to monitor changes in biodiversity indicators over a period of time. The experiment was set as a completely randomized design with three treatments (Brachystegia spiciformis zone, Cynometra webberi zone and mixed forest zone). A total of 27 permanent sample plots measuring 50m x 30m each were established. Baseline soil samples were collected for soil physical and chemical analysis using standard procedures. Baseline results indicate that Soil Organic Matter, Total Nitrogen and Carbon were significantly different across the different vegetation zones (p<0.05). The Brachystegia and Cynometra zones recorded higher P concentration of 3.4ppm and 3.35ppm respectively, while the mixed forest zone which is dominated by white sand had a P concentration of 2.7ppm. The pH was significantly different across the vegetation zones (p<0.001). Bulk density of the forest soil was 1.34g/cm3 dominated by sandy and sandy loam soils. The baseline soil data is crucial for providing information necessary for developing rehabilitation frameworks and supporting biodiversity related decision making in forest policy and management.

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