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Influence des cycles humectation-dessiccation sur la minéralisation du carbone : cas de la zone cotonnière du Nord Cameroun

Abstract : Soil as a major storage component for terrestrial ecosystem’s organic carbon plays an important role in regulating climate and agricultural production. Any variation of carbon fluxes between the atmosphere and the terrestrial ecosystem can have a significant impact on the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but also the decrease in soil organic matter and thus accelarate soil fertility degradation. In northern Cameroon, the transition period between long dry periods with a wet season is characterized by very irregular rainfall that can last several weeks. These wetting-drying cycles can accentuate the mineralization of soil organic carbon and nutrient cycling. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of wet-dry cycles on carbon mineralization in a sudano-sahelian context. From methodological stand field measurements require to study the soil respiration variation over 24 hours after a wet period. This methodological test has shown that soil respiration has a quadratic curve during the day, becoming almost linear during the night. The temperature and soil moisture have explained together the variation over 24 hours (at least 73% ; p< 0.001). These observations have been used to propose a method for estimating the mean daytime and nighttime soil respiration after wetting the soil. Indeed the method proposed in this study has the advantage of being based on a small number of measurements and is, therefore, easier to implement to monitor 24-h soil respiration after the first rains following a long dry period. A first experiment has shown that the wetting of the soil and mulching increased soil carbon mineralization. However, wetting-drying cycles on soil did not increase the cumulative mineralization of soil carbon more than keeping the soil continuously moist. Indeed, in northern Cameroon, the rapid mineralization of crop residues makes it difficult to increase soil carbon stocks by mulching. In a second laboratory experiment, the wetting-drying cycles did not increase organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization from soils added with straw. However, carbon dioxide emissions increased on straw amended soils compared to soils without straw. This addition of the labeled straw increased mineralization of soil organic matter (priming effect). The mineralization of the straw also decreased with the wetting-drying cycles, thus the amount of straw remaining on soils was 102 µg C g-1 soil on re-wetted soils compared to 48 µg C g-1 soil for those with constant moisture. The lack of response for C and N mineralization during wetting-drying cycles may be linked to a decrease of microbial activity during dry periods and the lack of a steady increase in the carbon mineralization rate with subsequent wetting-drying cycles.
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Pierrot, Lionel Yemadje. Influence des cycles humectation-dessiccation sur la minéralisation du carbone : cas de la zone cotonnière du Nord Cameroun. Agronomie. Université Montpellier, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015MONTS209⟩. ⟨tel-02050045⟩

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