How reliable is the Walkley-Black method for analyzing carbon-poor, semi-arid soils in Ethiopia?

Tigist Araya Gessesse, Asia Khamzina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa necessitates accurate soil carbon quantification using a locally applicable method. We assessed the reliability of the original Walkley-Black method for analyzing soil organic carbon (SOC) in semi-arid soils in northern Ethiopia characterized by low SOC (1.3 ± 0.09%) and lack of carbonates. Eighty samples from entire soil profiles were collected in four prevalent land use systems along an elevation gradient and analyzed using the Walkley-Black method and CN elemental analyzer. The results were compared by linear regression analysis followed by the Bland and Altman analysis, eliminating the possible bias of regression. The analyses demonstrated the universal applicability of the Walkley-Black method using the standard correction factor (1.32) for SOC evaluation in carbon-poor, non-calcareous soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany . We thank Yemane Welday, Tesfay Berihu, Mulugeta Sbhatleab, Askual Weldu, Negasi Solomon, and Angelika Glogau for their support during field and laboratory work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bland and Altman analysis
  • CN analyzer
  • Leptosol
  • Soil organic carbon (SOC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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