Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Agriculture

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

A type of environmental degradation, karst rocky desertification (KRD) refers to areas where the soil loss exposes the bedrock and reduces the land’s ability to sustain life and is particularly widespread through the vast karst area of rural southwest China. Hugelkultur is a permaculture method that harnesses the wood decomposition process by burying logs beneath soil. We proposed that hugel beds will demonstrate a higher water holding capacity and enhance soil development, in a way that may show promise as a potential method to help alleviate problems of KRD. Soil samples were taken from hugel plots, non-hugel plots, and KRD-like areas around Bowling Green, Kentucky to determine respective moisture content and project the amount of soil water potentially held in a one-hectare field. Findings show hugels to demonstrate higher water holding capacity meaning they have potential implications for future productivity of agricultural in areas affected by KRD.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Albert Meier, Chris Groves

Disciplines

Agriculture | Other Life Sciences

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