Title: Assessing the impact of cultivation on soil organic carbon: a case study at Korpa in Iceland

Author(s): Isaac Owusu Ansah
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Utra Mankasingh , Maria Svavarsdottir , Gudrun Gisladottir , Julia Miriam Brenner
soil organic carbon, Iceland


The conversion of natural vegetation into agricultural land has led to a decline in soil organic carbon storage, such that sustainable land management applications are extensively recommended as an alternative to improve soil organic carbon storage, thereby improving food security, especially in Africa. The main goal of this research was to assess the impact of cultivation on soil organic carbon through a case study at the Korpa Experimental Station in Iceland. This study was carried out in order to relate the situation to the tropics (Ghana) and to propose good land management practices that will improve food security as well as the lives of poor subsistence farmers. Soils were sampled from three land use types; a barley field, a grass field and a shelterbelt (undisturbed). Five samples from each site, totalling 15 samples, were extracted to determine soil moisture, bulk density, % carbon, % organic matter, total nitrogen, texture and C:N ratio. Generally, there was no statistical difference in soil organic carbon and related soil properties among the three land use types. The conservation cultivation practices, as well as the soil type in the study area, had a positive effect on soil organic carbon and related soil properties, leading to no decline in soil fertility.

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