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Assessing Land Restoration Potential in Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya

Predicted vs. measured soil organic carbon for calibration and validation model runs
Predicted vs. measured soil organic carbon for calibration and validation of model runs

Leigh Winowiecki and her colleagues at World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) published a study of applying the systematic monitoring and mapping techniques to assess the land restoration potential in semi-arid areas in Kenya. The study, published in the October 2018 issue of Geoderma, demonstrated the reliable performance of estimating key soil health properties using the mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy sensor. This process was then upscaled to the semi-arid land areas in the Mpala Ranch in Laikipia County, Kenya, using Landsat 8 reflectance data, and used to assess the potential of land restoration. Findings from this study can inform the types of restoration activities necessary to restore specific ecosystem functions, such as the need to increase both woody and herbaceous cover in order to increase soil organic carbon and reduce soil erosion.

Winowiecki, L. A., Vågen, T. G., Kinnaird, M. F., & O’Brien, T. G. (2018). Application of systematic monitoring and mapping techniques: Assessing land restoration potential in semi-arid lands of Kenya. Geoderma327, 107-118.

 

Full text of the paper is available at the journal website (Open Access).