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Title: Impact of Charcoal Production on Physical and Chemical Properties of Soil in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region, Ghana.
Authors: Wahabu, S.
Fosu-Mensah, B. Y.
Nyame, F. K.
Keywords: forest
land degradation
soil properties
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Journal of Environment and Natural Resources Research
Abstract: Charcoal production, is one of the major drivers of land-cover change in Ghana. The trade has in recent time increased in the Central Gonja District of northern Ghana known to be one of the major food baskets of the country. This study assessed the impact of charcoal production on soil properties in the Central Gonja District of Ghana. Composite and core samples (60 samples) from ten (10) randomly selected sites were taken from 0-30 and 30-60 cm depths at the charcoal production site (CPS) and its adjacent field soils, which served as the control (CS). The samples were analyzed for soil texture, exchangeable bases, organic matter, percent carbon, total nitrogen, saturated hydraulic conductivity and electrical conductivity. The results showed that charcoal production site (CPS) had significantly (p < 0.01) higher content of sand, potassium, hydraulic conductivity and electrical conductivity than the control site (CS) within 0 – 30cm depth. Magnesium, calcium, sodium and percent carbon content decreased by 45.7, 2.7, 15.4 and 46.7% respectively in CPS when compared to CS within the top soil 0 -30cm. Hydraulic conductivity significantly (p < 0.01) increased from 0.5±0.3 (CS) to 1.8±1.0 h-1 (CPS), which is an increase of about 72 % in CPS due to soil heating. Soil organic matter in CPS decreases by 44% when compared with the CP site. There is a need for further research on the impact of charcoal production on soil nutrient, hydrology and crop production.
Appears in Collections:Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies

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