Next Article in Journal
Risks of Coastal Storm Surge and the Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Red River Delta, Vietnam
Next Article in Special Issue
Soil Degradation: Will Humankind Ever Learn?
Previous Article in Journal
Sustainability Aspects of Real Estate Development: Lithuanian Case Study of Sports and Entertainment Arenas
Previous Article in Special Issue
Restoring Soil Quality to Mitigate Soil Degradation
Open AccessReview

The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions

1
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, MD 20742, USA
2
Agriculture and Food Security Center, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
3
Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6523-6552; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su7066523
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing Soil Health to Mitigate Soil Degradation)
The primary cause of soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expansion and intensification of agriculture in efforts to feed its growing population. Effective solutions will support resilient systems, and must cut across agricultural, environmental, and socioeconomic objectives. While many studies compare and contrast the effects of different management practices on soil properties, soil degradation can only be evaluated within a specific temporal and spatial context using multiple indicators. The extent and rate of soil degradation in SSA is still under debate as there are no reliable data, just gross estimates. Nevertheless, certain soils are losing their ability to provide food and essential ecosystem services, and we know that soil fertility depletion is the primary cause. We synthesize data from studies that examined degradation in SSA at broad spatial and temporal scales and quantified multiple soil degradation indicators, and we found clear indications of degradation across multiple indicators. However, different indicators have different trajectories—pH and cation exchange capacity tend to decline linearly, and soil organic carbon and yields non-linearly. Future research should focus on how soil degradation in SSA leads to changes in ecosystem services, and how to manage these soils now and in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil degradation; sub-Saharan Africa; baselines; indicators; sustainability; resilience soil degradation; sub-Saharan Africa; baselines; indicators; sustainability; resilience
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Tully, K.; Sullivan, C.; Weil, R.; Sanchez, P. The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions. Sustainability 2015, 7, 6523-6552. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su7066523

AMA Style

Tully K, Sullivan C, Weil R, Sanchez P. The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions. Sustainability. 2015; 7(6):6523-6552. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su7066523

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tully, Katherine; Sullivan, Clare; Weil, Ray; Sanchez, Pedro. 2015. "The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions" Sustainability 7, no. 6: 6523-6552. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su7066523

Find Other Styles

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop