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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Ecological Modelling - Prof. Dr. Michael Hauhs

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Master Thesis

Variability of soil physical parameters, soil moisture, and soil erodibility under different weed control on a coffee plantation in the Kilimanjaro region

Daniel-Sebastian Moser (07/2017-07/2018)

Support: Christina Bogner, Bernd Huwe

Coffee is one of the most valuable cash crops and luxury goods produced for the world market. Hotspots of coffee production can be found in tropical and subtropical climate zones around the equator, for example, the Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. The competition between coffee plants and weeds for water and nutrients could result in lower harvest and economic loss. We established six different treatments (with tree repetition) of weed control in December 2015. One plot per treatment was equipped with soil moisture sensors in 20 and 50 cm depth. Additionally, irrigation experiments are planned to quantify soil erosion in different treatments.

The objective of the study is to characterize the soil and plant parameters of each treatment. In particular, we want to know, if there are differences in hydrological soil properties (soil moisture, water infiltration, hydrophobic), plant properties (tissue colour of leaves, weed coverage, weed classification), physical soil properties (penetration, shear resistance), soil chemical properties (carbon, nitrogen, cation exchange capacity) and soil erodibility.

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