Overview of the project
Soil physicochemical properties are so important to soil fertility, plant growth and sustainable agriculture. In African regions, the risk assessment methodologies applied for evaluating soil characteristics degradation due to climate change need further improvement for a better soil management. The purpose of this project was to develop a risk assessment methodology that should be kept in mind when assessing climate change effects on soil physicochemical properties. For 6 years (2014-2019), the methodology was developed based on three steps: (1) identification of key soil physicochemical properties; (2) modelling of climate change impacts on these key soil properties using a combination of the EPIC model and a geographical information system; (3) development of a soil management strategy for minimizing soil degradation.
The purpose of the project was to develop a risk assessment methodology that should be kept in mind when assessing climate change effects on soil physicochemical properties.
01/01/2014 - 12/31/2019
The developed methodology was tested in an arid African oasis (Chenini Oasis, Tunisia) over 5 years (2014-2018) and was highlighted three main findings: First, compared to the no climate change scenario, soil physical properties (bulk density, wilting point and field capacity) are predicted not to change significantly by 2050. However, a serious impact on the soil chemical properties (organic carbon content, pH and macro-nutrients) is predicted. Second, the most critical impact was recorded for soil organic carbon content which is predicted to decrease by 38% by 2050. Third, it is recommended to apply the following fertilizer amounts to enhance soil properties resistance to future climate change: animal manure amount = 38000 Kg ha-1 year-1 and P2O5 amount = 60 Kg ha-1 year-1. The developed methodology could be an effective guide to improve soil management in African regions with respect to climate change.
Our results suggest that future climate change may seriously affect key soil physicochemical properties (that are so important to soil fertility, plant growth and sustainable agriculture).
The project was financed by: Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Tunisia and Association Network for Sustainable Development of Oases (RADAAO)