Stocks and ecological significance of soil carbon in Tanzania

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Natural Resources and Conservation


Numerous documentations have paid a few attentions to the mapping of soil organic carbon (SOC) in Tanzania. To any country, the estimation of SOC is very important as provide social, ecological and economic values just to mention a few. Here we reviewed over 55 publications be journal papers, government and international organization reports to ascertain on the amount of SOC, factors influencing its accumulation, and highlight its ecological and socio-economic significance. Despite of the limited information, the Eastern Arc Mountains seem to have an average carbon stock of 100 – 400MgCha-1 in the undisturbed and 85 MgCha-1 in the disturbed areas; while the semi-arid areas have about 0.4-10 MgCha-1 only. In most cases, SOC were highest on the surface (0-20cm) and decreased with increasing soil depth. This is because most anthropogenic activities i.e. organic fertilizations take place at the top sub-soils. Edaphic and climate factors had as well significant contribution to the accumulation of SOC. Rainfall and temperature appeared to facilitate numerous soil processes that lead to SOC accumulation. Potentially, SOC improves soil fertility for higher crop yields, mitigates the emission of greenhouse gases and eventually improves the people’s livelihoods. For example, maize yields were significantly higher under SOC 1.9 ton per hectare than has without it 0.9 ton per hectare. In addition thousands of carbons dioxides tones are seized in the soil. Otherwise, its offset would have serious atmospheric pollution. We therefore, recommends for more original researches on SOC to harness its economic, social and ecological potentials for the benefits of the people.


Natural Resources and Conservation 4(3): 42-51


Climate, Organic Soil Management, Histosols, SOC, Tanzania