Vusumuzi E. Mbanjwa

Abstracts

2 Characterization and Evaluation of Soil Resources for Sustainable Land Use Planning of Timatjatji Community Farm, Limpopo, South Africa

Authors: Phesheya E. Dlamini, Vusumuzi E. Mbanjwa, M. Linda Phooko, Rhandu Chauke

Abstract:

The decline of yields as a consequence of miss-informed land-use decisions poses a threat to sustainable agriculture in South Africa. The non-uniform growth pattern of wheat crop and the yields below expectations has been one of the main concerns for Timatjatji community farmers. This study was then conducted to characterize, classify, and evaluate soils of the farm for sustainable land use planning. A detailed free survey guided by surface features was conducted on a 25 ha farm to check soil variation. It was revealed that Sepane (25%), Bonheim (21%), Rensburg (18%), Katspruit (15%), Arcadia (12%) and Dundee (9%) were the dominant soil forms found across the farm. Field soil description was done to determine morphological characteristics of the soils which were matched with slope percentage and climate to assess the potential of the soils. The land capability results showed that soils were generally shallow due to high clay content in the B horizon. When the climate of the area was factored in (i.e. land potential), it further revealed that the area has low cropping potential due to heat, moisture stress and shallow soils. This implies that the farm is not suitable for annual cropping but can be highly suitable for planted pastures.

Keywords: Characterization, land evaluation, land capability, land potential

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1 Assessing Vertical Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in Westleigh Soil under Shrub Encroached Rangeland, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Authors: Phesheya E. Dlamini, Abel L. Masotla, Vusumuzi E. Mbanjwa

Abstract:

Accurate quantification of the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) in relation to land cover transformations, associated with shrub encroachment is crucial because deeper lying horizons have been shown to have greater capacity to sequester SOC. Despite this, in-depth soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood, especially in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The objective of this study was to quantify and compare the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon stocks (SOCs) in shrub-encroached and open grassland sites. To achieve this, soil samples were collected vertically at 10 cm depth intervals under both sites. The results showed that SOC was on average 19% and 13% greater in the topsoil and subsoil respectively, under shrub-encroached grassland compared to open grassland. In both topsoil and subsoil, lower SOCs were found under shrub-encroached (4.53 kg m⁻² and 3.90 kgm⁻²) relative to open grassland (4.39 kgm⁻² and 3.67 kgm⁻²). These results demonstrate that deeper soil horizon play a critical role in the storage of SOC in savanna grassland.

Keywords: soil organic carbon, vertical distribution, shrub-encroachment, savanna grasslands

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