Litter Production and Organic Compound Contents in the Sudano-guinea Savannahs of Ngaoundere, Adamawa, Cameroon

Main Article Content

Adamou Ibrahima
Paul Souhore
Ahmadou Babba


Litter production which is important for understanding nutrient cycling and assessing productivity in forest ecosystems is poorly studied in the African savannahs, particularly in the savannahs of Cameroon. Thus, litter production and organic compounds of the thirty-six (36) contrasting plant species were studied in the Sudano-guinea savannahs of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. Litter collected in framework of 50 cm x 50 cm under the three tree of each plant species in three sites of the savannahs of Ngaoundere during the period of their maximum fall that from November and January. After two years of collection, mean annual litter production varied from 0.36 in S. longipedunculata to 10.06 t.ha-1.year-1 in F. polita at Dang, from 0.14 in G. aqualla to 9.39 t.ha-1.year-1 in V. paradoxa at Biskewal, and from 0.35 in G. aqualla to 3.64 t.ha-1.year-1 in S. guineense var. macrocarpum at Wakwa. Contribution of leaf litter, fruits and wood were respectively more than 50%, 1.40% and 32% to the total litter. Litter production varied from 2.35 t.ha-1.year-1 at Wakwa to 2.91 t.ha-1.year-1 at Dang, but the sites did not differ significantly among them. Litter cellulose content varied from 4.11 in P. hookeri to 11.84% in V. doniana, that of lignin from 2.28 in V. paradoxa to 8.12% in V. doniana, that of NDF from 21.35 in S. guineense var. guineense to 75.73% in S. guineense var. macrocarpum, and that of phenolic compounds from 0.47 in V. doniana to 16.11% in C. molle. Litter production and organic compounds content were affected by plant diversity, but not by sites in the Sudano-guinea savannahs of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. These results would contribute to well select plant species for their domestication and to management of Adamawa savannahs of Cameroon.

Litter production, organic compound, Sudano-guinea savannahs, Ngaoundere, Cameroon

Article Details

How to Cite
Ibrahima, A., Souhore, P., & Babba, A. (2020). Litter Production and Organic Compound Contents in the Sudano-guinea Savannahs of Ngaoundere, Adamawa, Cameroon. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, 12(4), 1-14.
Original Research Article


Aragao LEOC, Malhi Y, Metcalfe DB, Silva-Espejo JE, Jimenez E, Navarrete D, et al. Above- and below-ground net primary productivity across ten Amazonian forests on contrasting soils. Biogeosciences. 2009;6:2759–78.

Clark DA, Brown S, Kicklighter DW, Chambers JQ, Thomlinson JR, Ni J, Measuring net primary production in forests: Concepts and Field Methods. Ecological Applications. 2001;11(2):356-70.

Vitousek PM, Sanford RL, Nutrient Cycling in Moist Tropical Forest. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 1986;17:137–67.

Mitchell DT, Colley PGF, Webbs S, Allsapp N, Litter decomposition process in the costal fynbos vegetation, South West Cape. South Africa J. Ecology. 1986;74: 977-93.

Mapongmetsem PM, Phénologie et apport au sol des substances biogènes par la litière de quelques fruitiers sauvages des savanes soudano-guinéennes. Thèse de Doctorat d’Etat, Université de Yaoundé I. French; 2005.

Chambers J, Pinus monophylla estabishement in expanding Pinus juniperus woodland: Environmental conditions, facilitation and interacting factors. J. Veg. Sci. 2001;12:27-40.

Xu S, Liu LL, Sayer EJ, Variability of above-ground litter inputs alters soil physicochemical and biological processes: A meta-analysis of litterfall-manipulation experiments. Biogeosciences. 2013;10: 7423-7433.

Parsons SA, Congdon RA, Lawler IR, Determinants of the pathways of litter chemical decomposition in a tropical region. New Phytologist. 2014;203:873-882.

Kumar S, Tewari LM, Pattern of litterfall and litter decomposition in a Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus forest in Kumaun Himalaya. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation. 2014;6(1): 108-114.

De Weirdt M, Hans Verbeeck H, Maignan F, Steppe K, Seasonal leaf dynamics for tropical evergreen forests in a process based global ecosystem model. Geoscientific Model Development. 2012;5: 1091–1108.

Wurzburger N, Hendrick RL, Plant litter chemistry and mycorrhizal roots promote a nitrogen feedback in a temperate forest. Journal of Ecology. 2009;97(3):528–536.

Carnol M, Bazgir M, Nutrient returns to the forest floor through litter and throughfall under 7 forest species after conversion from Norway spruce. Forest Ecology and Management. 2013;309:66-75.

van Dam O, Forest filled with gaps: Effects of gap size on water and nutrient cycling in tropical rain forest. A study in Guyana. Tropenbos – Guyana Series 10, Tropenbos- Guyana Programme, Georgetown, Guyana; 2001.

Becker J, Pabst H, Mnyonga J, Kuzyakov Y, Annual litterfall dynamics and nutrient deposition depending on elevation and land use at Mt. Kilimanjaro. Biogeosciences. 2015;12:5635–5646.

Das C, Mondal NK, Litterfall, decomposition and nutrient release of Shorea robusta and Tectona grandis in a sub-tropical forest of West Bengal, Eastern India. Journal of Forestry Research. 2016; 27(5):1055-1065.

Devi NL, Singh EJ, Pattern of litterfall and return of nutrients in five Oak species of mixed Oak forest of Manipur, North-East India. Journal of Applied and Advanced Research. 2017;2(1):1-5.

Seta T, Demissew S, Woldu Z, Litterfall dynamics in Boter Becho Forest: Moist evergreen montane forest of Southwestern Ethiopia. Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment. 2018;10(1):13-21.

Spain AV, Litterfall and the standing crop of litter in three tropical Australian rainforests. Journal of Ecology. 1984;72: 947-961.

Qiu Iu XZ, Xie SC, Liu WY. Studies on the Forest Ecosystem in Ailao Mountains, Yunnan, China. Sciences and Technology Press, Kumming; 1998.

Arunachalam A, Arunachalam K, Pandey HN, Tripathi RS, Fine litterfall and nutrient dynamics during forest regrowth in the humid subtropics of north-eastern India. Forest Ecology and Management. 1998; 110(1-3):209-219.

Sundarapandian SM, Swamy PS, Litter production and leaf litter decomposition of selected tree species in tropical forests at Kodoyar in the Western Ghats, India. Forest Ecology and Management. 1999; 123:231-244.

Ibrahima A, Schmidt P, Ketner P, Mohren GJM, Phytomasse et cycle des nutriments dans la forêt tropicale dense humide du sud Cameroun. Tropenbos-Cameroon Documents 9, Kribi, Cameroun. French; 2002.

Ibrahima A, Ntonga JC, Mvondo Ze AD, Litterfall, litter standing crops and nutrient dynamics as influenced by selective logging in tropical rainforest of Ebom, Southwest Cameroon. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment. 2018;10(8): 205-220.

Feller C, Un fractionnement granulométrique de la Matière des sols en 1874. Etude et gestion des sols. 1998; 5(3):195-200.

Pieri C, Fertilité des terres de savanes. Ministère de la coopération, Cirad. French; 1989.

Piéri C, Les bases agronomiques de l’amélioration et du maintien de la fertilité des terres de savanes au sud du sahara. In savanes d’Afrique, terres fertiles? Actes des Rencontres Internationales. Ministère de la Coopération. Montpellier, France. French; 1991.

Anonymous. Diagnostic général de la situation de l’environnement dans la Province de l’Adamaoua. Document de base. MINEF, GTZ, Cameroun et Banque Mondiale. French;1994.

Bado BV, Rôle des légumineuses sur la fertilité des sols ferrugineux tropicaux des zones guinéenne et soudanienne du Burkina Faso. Thèse Doctorat Université Laval; 2002.

Ibrahima A, Mapongmetsem PM, Nguetnkam J-P, Longmou J, Décomposition des litières de quelques essences agroforestières en zone soudano-guinéennes de l'Adamaoua, Cameroun. Biosciences, Environnement et contrôle qualité. Biosciences Proceedings. French. 2000;7:387-395.

Mapongmetsem PM, Baye-Niwah C, Longmou J, Loura B, Nkongmeneck, Ngassoum MB, Bük H, Litterfall, decomposition and nutrients release in Vitex doniana sweet and Vitex madiensis oliv. in the sudano-guinea savannah. Akdeniz Universitesi Ziraat Fakültesi Dergisi. 2005;18(1):63-75.

Ibrahima A, Biyanzi P, Halima M, Changes in organic compounds during leaf litter leaching: Laboratory experiment on eight plant species of the Sudano-guinea Savannas of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. iForest- Biogeosciences and Forestry. 2008;1:27-31.

Ibrahima A, Adda Magouo D, Ibrahim O, Hassana B, Synergistic effects of earthworms and soil microorganisms on litter decomposition in sudano-guinea savannah zone of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. International Journal of Agricultural Research, Sustainability, and Food Sufficiency. 2017a;4(1):133- 150.

Anguessin B, Ibrahima A, Mapongmetsem PM, Litter quality and decomposition along climatic gradient in northern Cameroon. International Journal of Applied Research. 2017;3(10):32-38.

Ibrahima A, Souhore P, A Mang A Menick A. Patterns of Leaf Litter Decomposition as Related to Litter Traits in the Sudano-Guinea Savannahs of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International. 2019; 18(1):1-19.

Suchel JB. The distribution of rainfall and rainfall patterns in Cameroon. African Research Center, Federal University of Cameroon; 1971.

Hengue P. General report on the environmental problem in the province of Adamawa. Regional consultation on the environment for the province of Adamawa. 1994;7.

Boutrais J, Les conditions naturelles de l’élevage sur le plateau de l’Adamaoua (Cameroun). Cah. ORSTOM, Série Sci. Hum. 1974;XV(2):145-198.

Brabant P, Humbel FX, Notice explicative de la carte pédologique de Poli, No. 51, Carte au 1/50000e. Yaoundé. French; 1974.

Letouzey R, Etude phytogéographique du Cameroun. Paul de Chevalier (ed.), Paris Vème, France. French; 1968.

Mapongmetsem PM, Nkongmeneck BA, Rongoumi G, Nguemo Dongock D, Dongmo B. Impact of land use on the shelf Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn. C. f. (Sapotaceae) in the region of the Sudan Guinean savannas. Int. J. Environ. Studies. 2011;68(6):851-872.

Ibrahima A, Nguetnkam JP, Pabame P, Beunon T, Guidawa G, Soil Degradation in the Sudano-guinea Savannas of Mbe, Cameroon: Farmers’ Perception, Indicators and Soil Fertility Management Strategies. Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. 2007;3(6):907-916.

Ibrahima A, Souhore P, Hassana B, Babba H, Farmers’ perceptions, indicators and soil fertility management strategies in the sudano-guinea savannahs of Adamawa, Cameroon. International Journal of Development and Sustainability. 2017b; 6(12):2035-2057.

Rapp M, Leonardi S, Evaluation de la matière au sol au cours d’une année dans un taillis de chêne vert (Quercus ilex L.). Pedobiologia. French. 1988;32:177-185.

Proctor J. Tropical forest litterfall: I. Problems of data comparison. In Whitemore, T.C. & Chadwick A.C. (eds). Tropical rainforest: Ecology and Management. Blackwell, Oxford, United Kingdom. 1983;267-273.

Hart D. Litterfall and decomposition in the Pilligra state forests, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology. 1995;20:266-272.

Marigo G, Méthode de fractionnement d’estimation des composés phénoliques chez les végétaux. Analysis. French. 1973; 106-110.

Updegraff DM, Semi-micro determinate of cellulose in biological material. Analytical Biochemistry. 1973;32:420-424.

Dubois M, Gilles KA, Hamilton JK, Robers PA, Smith F. Colorimetry method for determination of sugar and related substances. Annales of Chemistry. 1965; 28:350-356.

van Soest PJ, Use of detergent in the analysis of fibrous feeds. 111. Study of effects of heating and drying on yield of fiber and lignin in forages. J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. French. 1965;48:785-790.

Harmand JM. Rôle des espèces ligneuses à croissance rapide dans le fonctionnement biogéochimique de la jachère. Effet sur la restauration de la fertilité des sols ferrugineux tropicaux, cas du Bassin de la Bénoué au Nord Cameroun. Montpellier, Cirad, Département Forêt. French; 1997.

Bernhard F, Etude de la litière et de sa contribution au cycle des éléments minéraux en forêts ombrophiles de Côte d’Ivoire. Oecologia Plantarum. French. 1970;7:279-300.

Ifo A, Nganga D. Litterfall accumulation and decomposition in the forest groves established on savannah in the Plateau Téké, Central Africa. Journal of Environment, Science and Technology. 2011;4(6):601-610.

Celentano D, Zahawi RA, Finegan B, Ostertag R, Cole RJ, Holl KD, Litterfall Dynamics Under Different Tropical Forest Restoration Strategies in Costa Rica, Biotropica. 2011;43:279– 287.

Salako FK, Tian G, Litter and biomass production from planted and natural fallows on a degraded soil in southwestern Nigeria. Agroforestry Systems. 2001;51(3): 239-251.

Egbe EA, Swift MJ, Nwoboshi LC, Do Ladipo, Litter fall and macronutrients retourn of Millettia thonningii [Schumach and V Thonn.] Bak and Pterocarpus santalinoides [L Herite, ex DC.] Stands in south-western Nigeria. Journal of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences. 2003; 3(2):87-94.

Piot J, Végétaux ligneux et pâturages des savanes de l’Adamaoua au Cameroun. Rev. Elev. Med. Vet. Pays Trop. French. 1969;22:541-559.

Yonkeu S. Végétation des pâturages de l’Adamaoua (Cameroun): écologie et potentialités pastorales. Thèse de Doctorat unique, Université de Rennes I, France. French.1993;207.

Gnahoua AGM, Oliver R, Nguessan KA, Balle P. Production et retombées minérales des litières chez quatre espèces de légumineuses arborées, utilisées en amélioration de jachères, en zone forestière de Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Applied Biosciences. French. 2013;72: 5800-5809.

Zhang H, Yuan W, Dong W, Liu S. Seasonal patterns of litterfall in forest ecosystem worldwide. Ecological Complexity. 2014;20:240-247.

Diallo MD, Mahamat-Saleh M, Goalbaye T, Diop L, Wade TI, Niang K et al. Chute et décomposition de la litière de cinq espèces ligneuses et leur influence sur la biomasse herbacée dans la zone Nord Ferlo du Sénégal. J. Rech. Sci. Univ. Lomé (Togo), Série A. French. 2016;18(3):1- 18.

Ogaya R, Penuelas J. Contrasting foliar responses to drought in Quercus ilex and Phillyrea latifolia. Biologia Plantarum. 2006;50:373-382.

Misson L, Degueldre D, Collin C, Rodriguez R, Rocheteau A, Ourcival J et al. Phenological responses to extreme droughts in a Mediterranean forest. Global Change Biology. 2011;17:1036-1048.

Oyebamiji NA, Babalola OA, Aduradola AM. Decomposition and nitrogen release patterns of Parkia biglobosa and Albizia lebbeck leaves with nitrogen fertilizer for maize production in Sudan savanna alfisol of Nigeria. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment. 2017;7(1):54-64.

Abugre S, Oti-Boateng C, Yeboah MF. Litter fall and decomposition trend of Jatropha curcas L. leaves mulches under two environmental conditions. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America. 2011;2(3):462-470.

Dieye T, Assigbetse K, Diedhiou I, Sembene M, Dieng AL, Gueye M, et al. The effect of Jatropha curcas L. leaf litter decomposition on soil carbon and nitrogen status and bacterial community structure (Senegal). Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management. 2016;7(3): 32-44.

Wuta M, Rees RM, Furley PA, Nyamadzawo G. Litter decomposition and nutrient release in Miombo Savanna woodlands of central Zimbabwe. In: Savannas: Climate, Biodiversity and Ecological Significance. Perrault C. and Bellamy L. (Edit); 2013.

Ibrahima A, Mapongmetsem PM, Hassan M. Influences de quelques facteurs zoo-anthropiques sur la phytodiversité ligneuse des savanes soudano-guinéennes de l'Adamaoua, Cameroun. Ann. de la Fac. des Sciences Univ. de Yaoundé I, Série Sc. de la Nat. et de la Vie. French. 2006; 36(3):65-85.