Modification of soil properties by Prosopis L. in the Kalahari Desert, South-Western Botswana


The aim of this research was to investigate the interactions between Prosopis plants and soils in the Kalahari area, south west of Botswana. The underlying assumptions of the research were that Prosopis plants significantly enhanced the nutrient content and improved the condition of soils in the study area, and that the height and canopy size of Prosopis plants affected the interactions between Prosopis plants and the soils. Firstly, soil samples were collected under 42 randomly selected Prosopis plant canopies and in the spaces between Prosopis plant canopies at the depth of 0 -20 cmand 60 –80 cm. Secondly, soil samples were collected under 45 randomly selected Prosopis plant canopies of three different categories of height and canopy size at the depth of 0 -10 cm. The soil samples were analysed for soil organic carbon, pH, total nitrogen (N), electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg). Soil collected under Prosopis plant canopies and in the spaces between Prosopis plant canopies showed statistically significant difference in the soil organic carbon content (F = 2.68, P = 0.05, α = 0.05), pH (F = 44.81, P < 0.001; α = 0.05) and electrical conductivity (EC) (F = 3.75, P = 0.01, α = 0.05). Statistically significant difference was also observed in the comparison of soils existing under Classes 1, 2 and 3 Prosopis plant canopies in relation to pH and EC (F = 6.56, P = 0.01 and F = 4.77, P = 0.01 respectively at α = 0.05). Therefore, it was concluded that the fundamental assumptions of the study were valid.

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Mosweu, S. , Munyati, C. and Kabanda, T. (2013) Modification of soil properties by Prosopis L. in the Kalahari Desert, South-Western Botswana. Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 145-150. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.32017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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