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Title: Biomass, carbon, nutrient stocks and litter decomposition in Ghanain cocoa ecosystems
Author: Mohammed, Askia Musah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 7610
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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This study recognised the quantification of biomass, C and nutrient stocks in cocoa systems of Ghana as an important step to producing a sustainable and carbon-friendly cocoa sector. Eight farms in Ghana were selected for sampling cocoa stands on the basis of three variables: region (Eastern region (ER), Western region (WR)), shade management (shaded, un shaded) and stand age «15, >15 years). All biometric data were collected within a plot area of 2700 m2 in each farm. Also two experiments, a l20-day dry matter loss and a l30-day carbon emission from litter decomposition and organic matter mineralization, were conducted concurrently. In these, single species leaf litters: cocoa (as in unshaded cocoa system), Newbouldia laevis (dominant shade tree in Eastern region) and Persea americana (dominant shade tree in Western region) and I: I mixed species leaf litters (mimicking shaded systems: cocoa + Newbouldia laevis and cocoa + Persea americana) were incubated to determine and predict the litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics in cocoa systems with or without the shade trees. Allometric equations were developed to estimate the biomass of live cocoa tree components (R2 = 0.79 - 0.95). Biomass of non-cocoa trees was estimated using an existing allometric equation developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization. In addition, the Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry Systems (WaNuLCAS) model was tested on hypothetical cocoa systems to assess its suitability to simulate biomass, C and nutrient stocks in the systems over time. Total ecosystem biomass ranged from 48.1 ± 6.5 to 101.6 ± 12.6 Mg I ha. The unshaded system had the lowest biomass production. Biomass production was higher in the Eastern than Western region and larger in > 15 years stands than < 15 years stands. While the C stock in biomass from shaded systems was twice that in unshaded systems, there was no significant difference in total ecosystem C stocks (biomass C + soil C to 60 cm depth) between the two systems due to a larger soil carbon stock in the latter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available