Geert Baert

Geert Baert
Ghent University | UGhent

Doctor Earth Sciences

About

85
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (85)
Article
Full-text available
Soil fertility in the Lubumbashi region often proves to be limiting factor for crop production due to their low nutrient reserves. The objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizae on phosphorus uptake by maize on Ferralsol. The trial was conducted in pots with 30 kg or 60 kg of P 2 O 5 ha ⁻¹ and a control. These three...
Article
Full-text available
Information on soil properties is crucial for soil preservation, the improvement of food security, and the provision of ecosystem services. In particular, for the African continent, spatially explicit information on soils and their ability to sustain these services is still scarce. To address data gaps, infrared spectroscopy has achieved great succ...
Article
Full-text available
The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Article
Micromorphological features of structures created by termites have the potential of recording some aspects of the building practices that are involved in their development. This was assessed for terrestrial mounds and arboreal nests of various termite species that are common in the southern part of Katanga, DR Congo. The three main feeding-strategy...
Article
Full-text available
Mycorrhization is known to have beneficial effects on growth vigour and protection against certain pathogens in several plant species including plantains, which has so far been little studied in the Kisangani forest region. This study aimed to determine the importance and biodiversity of mycorrhizae under plantains in the slash-and-burn and non-bur...
Preprint
Full-text available
The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines...
Preprint
Full-text available
Information on soil properties is crucial for soil preservation, improving food security, and the provision of ecosystem services. Especially, for the African continent, spatially explicit information on soils and their ability to sustain these services is still scarce. To address data gaps, infrared spectroscopy has gained great success as a cost-...
Article
The Arenosols of Kinshasa’s hinterland are characterized by a low chemical fertility, an acid reaction and a mineralogical composition limited to quartz, kaolinite and some residual oxides of Al and Ti. The effects of pink dolostone from Kimpese (PDK) and coffee waste (CW) application on the charge properties of the Batéké soils were studied in vit...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical soils are mostly poor in phosphorus and sometimes in nitrogen and potassium. Arbuscular mycorrhizae increase the efficiency of chemical fertilizers applied to crops, and this work is part of this framework. NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) was applied at 100 kg per ha and 200 kg per ha alone or in combination with inoculum from sorghum...
Article
Despite multiple taxonomic revisions, several uncertainties at the genus and species level remain to be resolved within the Serendipitaceae family (Sebacinales). This volatile classification is attributed to the limited number of available axenic cultures and the scarcity of useful morphological traits. In the current study, we attempted to discove...
Article
Full-text available
Inadequate or lack of prudent soil fertility management by cocoa farmers leads to nutrient depletion in cocoa production fields. The objective of this study was to assess current soil fertility status of cocoa farms from six cocoa growing regions in Ghana and to derive an integrated soil quality index (SQI). Composite soil samples from 0 to 30 cm d...
Article
The unique ecosystem of the Congolese rainforest has only scarcely been explored for its plant-fungal interactions. Here, we characterized the root fungal communities of field-grown maize and of Panicum from adjacent borders in the Congo Basin and assessed parameters that could shape them. The soil properties indicated that comparable poor soil con...
Article
Full-text available
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo or DRC) has some of the most fertile soils in Africa to cultivate cacao, an important cash crop and source of income for many smallholder farmers. Although cacao is currently produced there on small scale, DRC has the potential to grow as a cacao-producing country, thereby supplying the increasing caca...
Conference Paper
Land degradation is Ethiopia’s biggest environmental problem, as it has an adverse impact on soil productivity, and therefore it threatens food security and livelihoods. In parallel, land reforms and redistributions took place, particularly between the late 1970s and early 1990s. This research aims to investigate the impact of land tenure policies...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biogeochemistry is strongly determined by the interaction between the tree community and the topsoil. Functional strategies of tree species are coupled to specific chemical leaf traits, and thus also to litter composition, which affects mineral soil characteristics. The limited understanding on this interaction is mainly based on shorter-ter...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decade, there has been an increasing focus on the implementation of plant growth-promoting (PGP) organisms as a sustainable option to compensate for poor soil fertility conditions in developing countries. Trap systems were used in an effort to isolate PGP fungi from rhizospheric soil samples collected in the region around Kisangani in t...
Article
Full-text available
Monodominant patches of forest dominated by Gilbertiodendron dewevrei are commonly found in central African tropical forests, alongside forests with high species diversity. Although these forests are generally found sparsely distributed along rivers, their occurrence is not thought to be (clearly) driven by edaphic conditions but rather by trait co...
Article
Around Lubumbashi, the introduction of large-scale pivot-irrigated agriculture entails levelling of large termite mounds during field preparation. The effect on soil fertility and crop yield (Solanum tuberosum and Alium cepa) is evaluated along 11 transects extending from a former termite mound location to reference soil that received no termite mo...
Article
Full-text available
Forest biogeochemistry is strongly linked to the functional strategies of the tree community and the topsoil. Research has long documented that tree species affect soil properties in forests. Our current understanding on this interaction is mainly based on common garden experiments in temperate forest and needs to be extended to other ecosystems if...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The miombo woodlands of South Katanga (D.R. Congo) are characterized by a high spatial density of large conic termite mounds built by Macrotermes falciger (3 to 5 ha-1, ∼5 m high, ∼15 m in diameter). The time it takes for these mounds to attain this size is still largely unknown. In this study, the age of four of these mounds is determined by 14C-d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The spatial distribution patterns and morphological characteristics of Macrotermes falciger mounds were investigated in the Lubumbashi area, D.R. Congo. Examination of the spatial patterns of M. falciger mounds on high resolution satellite images reveals a mean areal number density of 2.9 ± 0.4 mounds ha −1. The high relative number of inactive mou...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical termites are of critical importance for ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services in woodland and savannah areas. Termite mounds can also be used as fertilizer and biological indicators of anthropogenic disturbance linked to agriculture or charcoal production. Remote sensing may help to identify and characterize termite mound density an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The effects of Macrotermes falciger activity on clay composition, charge characteristics, and water-dispersible clay (WDC) content of Ferralsol materials were investigated by a physico-chemical, mineralogical, and micromorphological study of termite mounds and control soil profiles at various sites near Lubumbashi (Upper Katanga, D.R. Congo). The w...
Article
This study examines the spatial distribution patterns and morphological characteristics of Macrotermes falciger mounds in the peri-urban zone of Lubumbashi, D.R. Congo. Spatial patterns of mounds were assessed using high-resolution satellite images for 24 plots of variable size (3 to 27 ha). Soil morphological features were described for five termi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The miombo woodlands of South Katanga (D.R. Congo) are characterized by a high spatial density of large conic termite mounds built by Macrotermes falciger (3 to 5 ha-1). With an average height of 5.05 m and diameter of 14.88 m, these are some of the largest biogenic structures in the world. The mound material is known to differ considerably from th...
Article
Full-text available
The Congo Basin, with a total area of about 3,822 000 km2 and a population exceeding 90 million people, has generally lagged behind in agricultural development. The purpose of this paper is to describe the different soil types in the Congo Basin, their major constraints, the actual utilization types, their management and the impact of land use on f...
Article
Full-text available
Termite-derived methane contributes 3 to 4% to the total methane budget globally. Termites are not known to harbor methane-oxidizing microorganisms (methanotrophs). However, a considerable fraction of the methane produced can be consumed by methanotrophs that inhabit the mound material, yet the methanotroph ecology in these environments is virtuall...
Article
Charcoal was sampled in four soil profiles at the Mayumbe forest boundary (DRC). Five fire events were recorded and 44 charcoal types were identified. One stratified profile yielded charcoal assemblages around 530 cal yr BP and > 43.5 cal ka BP in age. The oldest assemblage precedes the period of recorded anthropogenic burning, illustrating occasio...
Article
Full-text available
Policies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation largely depend on accurate estimates of tropical forest carbon stocks. Here we present the first field-based carbon stock data for the Central Congo Basin in Yangambi, Democratic Republic of Congo. We find an average aboveground carbon stock of 162±20 Mg C ha(-1) for intact old-...
Article
Purpose Standardisation of particle size distribution (PSD) is a prerequisite to achieve compatibility of soil data among various countries with different texture classification systems. Therefore, several mathematical models have been proposed to accurately represent PSD. Previous studies evaluated the performance of such models to describe PSD of...
Article
A greenhouse experiment was conducted to study the effect of coffee waste (CW) application on growth and mineral nutrition of Italian ryegrass in a tropical Arenosol. Dry CW was applied at three rates (5, 10, 20 t/ha) and thoroughly mixed with topsoil (0–25 cm), placed in pots and seeded with Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) according to...
Article
The influence of Macrotermes falciger activity on clays, sesquioxides and water-dispersible clay (WDC) content was investigated by a physico-chemical, mineralogical and micromorphological study of termite mound and control soil profiles at various sites near Lubumbashi, SE Katanga, D.R. Congo. X-ray diffraction reveals that the termite-mound materi...
Article
Full-text available
ponse du soja (Glycine max) à l'application de phosphate de Kanzi et de dolomie rose de Kimpese sur sol sableux en RD Congo. 2012. Reonse du soja (Glycine max)à l'application de phosphate de Kanzi et de dolomie rose de Kimpese sur sol sableux en RD Congo. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 905Á916. Le sol sableux de l'hinterland de Kinshasa (RD Congo) est carac...
Article
The soil water retention curve (SWRC) is important to solve many soil and water management problems related to agriculture, ecology, and environmental issues. However, it is well recognized that its direct measurement is laborious, time-consuming and expensive. An alternative is the estimation of the SWRC by pedotransfer functions (PM), which are w...
Article
Full-text available
The green rocks of Gangila (Lower Congo) are mainly made up of amphibolites and green schists and have a high nutrient capacity. A laboratory experiment was conducted to study the effects of these rock fertilizers on various physico-chemical properties of the sandy soils of Kinshasa's hinterland, DR Congo. These soils are classified as Orthic Regos...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rwanda, even though being a small landlocked country, hosts a great diversity in climatic, geologic, and geomorphic conditions. This diversity is also reflected in its soil resources. A complex pattern of soil mapping units was deployed to characterise the Rwandan soilscape, which has been surveyed and mapped at a scale of 1:50,000. In this study,...
Article
The origin of carbonate accumulations in termite mounds is a controversial issue. This study is an attempt to elucidate the processes of carbonate precipitation in Macrotermes mounds built on Ferralsols in Upper Katanga, D.R. Congo, whereby a differentiation between pedogenic and inherited carbonates is considered. Carbonate features were investiga...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Arenosols cover extensive areas in coffee producing, humid tropical countries of Sub-Sahara Africa (Angola, DR Congo) and Southern America (Brazil). A laboratory experiment was undertaken to examine the potential of using coffee waste to improve the physico-chemical properties of an Arenosol from DR Congo. The amendment was applied at thre...
Article
Although the significant impact of mound-building termites on physical, chemical and biochemical soil properties over large areas of the (sub-) tropics has often been discussed, little is known about the influence of termites on electro-chemical properties of Ferralsols. In this study, we compared the curves describing the total cation exchange cap...
Article
The effect of humic substances on the nutrient uptake, herbage production and nutritive value of herbage from sown grass pastures was studied in six field experiments. Commercial humic substances were applied in combination with mineral fertilizer or slurry, either as a solution (HF liquid; 8·3 kg humic substances ha−1) or incorporated into the min...
Article
Full-text available
. — While in Western Europe most national soil survey institutes have closed down or been privatized, in Africa there are still relatively strong soil institutes in most countries backed by — albeit insufficiently — government funds. Funds for classical soil surveys are difficult to obtain, although the demand for digital soil information from dif-...
Article
The effect of humic substances on yield and nutrient uptake of grass, maize, potato and spinach was investigated in six field experiments and two pot experiments in a high input cropping system. The humic substances originating from leonardite formations in Canada were applied as liquid solution to the soil (Humifirst liquid) or as a solid incorpor...
Article
A 17-year chronosequence of Acacia auriculiformis fallows on Arenosols of the Batéké Plateau (D.R. Congo) was surveyed and compared with virgin savannah soils to assess chemical soil fertility changes induced by these N-fixing trees. Significant increases in organic carbon content, total nitrogen content, cation exchange capacity and sum of base ca...
Article
Though knowledge about the distribution and properties of soils is a key issue to support sustainable land management, existing knowledge of the soils in Tigray (Northern Ethiopian Highlands) is limited to either maps with a small scale or with a small scope. The goal of this study is to establish a model that explains the spatial soil variability...