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Management patterns of Jatropha curcas: Impact on the microbial and the mycorrhizial biomasses in different phyto-geographic zones of Burkina Faso

Abdoul Nassiré Derra, Barthélémy Yélémou, Kadidia B. Sanon, Adama Hilou, Jeanne Millogo/Rasolodimby and Victor Hien

To reduce its dependency on foreign power sources, Burkina Faso has started since 2008 to grow Jatropha curcas to produce bio-fuel. But this vegetal species was adopted without sound knowledge of its plausible effects on the part of the soil colonized by the roots. This study aimed to determine the influences of different management patterns of Jatropha curcas on the fertility features of soils. To that end, on a transect going from the south-sudanian to the north-sudanian zones of Burkina Faso, three sites were chosen; two management patterns of Jatropha curcas per site (pure plantation of Jatropha and Jatropha mixed with other crops) and five plants of Jatropha per field were followed. Composite soil samplings were collected between 0 and 20 cm depth at three levels: 0 m from the stem of Jatropha curcas, 1 m from the stem and the control (far away from the Jatropha plant). Then analyses were performed to determine the total carbon, nitrogen, potassium, the pH-water, the pH-KCL, the microbial biomass, the respiration activities and the density of spores. the results indicate that Jatropha curcas improves pH and biomass quality (low values of C / N) of the soil. In addition, microbial biomass and respiration activity is greater in plants of Jatropha curcas. In addition, an important mycorrhizal flora is observed in plants, especially in the North- Sudanian zone of Burkina Faso. Jatropha curcas significantly improves soil fertility. Therefore, its promotion in rural areas could help to improve the livelihood of the people.