Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Nutrient Balances as Indicators of Sustainability in acacia senegal Land use Systems in the Semi-arid Zone of North Kordofan, Sudan

  • Bashir Awad El Tahir
  • M.A. Daldoum
  • Jonas Ardö
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 93-112
Publication/Series: Standard Scientific Research and Essays
Volume: 1
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article

Abstract english

The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess nutrient flows and balances at land management

systems and cropping seasons levels, and (2) to determine rate of nutrient depletion. The study

was conducted in dry lands of Northern Kordofan, Sudan, at El Demokeya Forest Reserve (lat.13°

16′ ′′ ′N; long. 30° 29′ ′′ ′E, and alt. 560 m), over three cropping seasons (2002, 2003 and 2004). Flows

and balances of organic carbon (OC), nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in pure

and intercropped sorghum, roselle and grasses with Acacia senegal at low- and high-tree density

(LD 266 and HD 433 trees ha


, respectively) were investigated. Sources of nutrient inflows were

organic matter (OM) from trees, gum Arabic, crop roots, atmospheric deposition, and N2fixation.

Outflows were harvested products, crop residues, leaching, gaseous losses and wind erosion.

Nutrient balances were positive in grass systems, but negative in pure sorghum and roselle.

Large variations exist between inter cropped sorghum and roselle systems. Nutrient balances

were positive during the poor cropping season (2002), while negative during the good season

(2003). Nutrient depletion was severe for all studied nutrients in pure sorghum and roselle, but P

depletion was remarkably more severe in roselle systems. For all systems, P availability is the

major determinant of sustainability. The study demonstrated that OM was essential for positive

nutrient balances. Hence, intercropping is considered as an appropriate option to enhance soil

fertility. Ways for adjusting the negative balancesin the context of sustainability were suggested.


  • Physical Geography
  • Organic carbon
  • Nutrient depletion
  • Sustainability
  • cropping seasons
  • Gum Arabic


  • ISSN: 2310-7502
E-mail: jonas [dot] ardo [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se


Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

+46 46 222 40 31



Teaching staff

Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science


Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund

Processing of personal data

Accessibility statement