Ethnopedology in central Mali
Research was done on local classifications of soils and conceptions of soil fertility management in Madiama, the SANREM-Mali site. While the local typology reveals a continuum between sandy, clayey and rocky soils, a typology of soils alone is insufficient in understanding the local classification system. Landscape and hydrological features, such as subtle elevation changes and type of water present (rain vs. river), affect understanding of fields and subsequent management strategies. Conceptualizations of soil fertility are based primarily on the application of animal manure, the quality of which varies with animals diets and physiology. This in turn gives rise to a model of ecological process that considers interactions between humans, cattle, crops, trees, and abiotic elements within the landscape.