Bio

Dr. Stephen M. Mureithi

I am a Lecturer at the Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi. 'My research domain focuses on the direct effects of disturbance (e.g. drought, overgrazing, and land-use change) on dryland ecosystems.

Publications


Submitted

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  Submitted.  The impact of rangeland livestock manure on nutrient depleted soils in highland small-holder croplands in Central Kenya. Kirigia, AK, Njoka, JT, Kinyua PID Young, TP and Mureithi, SM.. Tropical and Sub-tropical Agroecosystems. : Tropical and Sub-tropical Agroecosystems Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.
MWANGI, MUREITHISTEPHEN.  Submitted.  Aboveground net primary productivity in grazed and ungrazed pastures: Grazing optimisation hypothesis or local extinction of vegetation species. Otieno, S.G., T.J. Njoka, T.P. Young, S.M. Mureithi and Ngugi, R.K. . Nature Proceedings. : Afr. J. Range For. Sci. Abstract

The controversy that has surrounded herbivory studies in the last few decades prompted our investigation to establish the extent to which herbivore optimisation hypothesis or compensatory growth evidence is real. We used the traditional movable cage method to collect primary productivity data on herbage, functional groups and key individual grass species in various controlled large herbivore treatments in an east African savanna. The herbivore treatments in triplicate blocks included cattle, wild herbivores with and without mega herbivores and combinations of cattle and wild herbivores also with and without mega herbivores. The findings revealed that at herbage level, most grazed treatments (four out of five) had higher productivity than the ungrazed control and three showed grazing optimisation curve at sixth polynomial degree between monthly productivity and grazing intensity (1-g/ng). At functional group level forbs productivity was higher in the ungrazed control than in any of the grazed treatments while at individual grass species level Themeda triandra productivity was higher in all grazed treatments than in ungrazed control. We conclude against presence of herbivore optimisation hypothesis at herbage, functional group and species level because of lack of attributable grazing effect in grazed treatments that matches complex ecological effects in the ungrazed treatment.

2015

and Mureithi S. M., Verdoodt A., NGVRJTCKK.  2015.  Benefits Derived from Rehabilitating A Degraded Semi-Arid Rangeland in Communal Enclosures, Kenya.. Land Degradation & Development, DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2341..

2014

Koech OK, Ngugi RK, MSMKJNWRK.  2014.  Effect of varied soil water content on seed yield of six range grasses in the rangelands of Kenya.. Universal Journal of Agricultural Research. 2(5):174-179.
Koech OK, Ngugi RK, MSMKJNWRK.  2014.  Effect of Different Soil Water Content and Seed Storage on Quality of Six Range Grasses in the Semi-Arid Ecosystems of Kenya.. Environment and Ecology Research. 2(7):261-271.
Mureithi SM, Verdoodt A, NJTGCKKWVRFE.  2014.  Impact of community conservation management on herbaceous layer and soil nutrients in a Kenyan semi-arid savannah.. Land Degradation & Development DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2315.
  2014.  Ngugi RK, Kilonzo JM, Kimeu JM, Mureithi SM. 2014. Seasonal botanical characteristics of the diets of Grant’s (Gazella granti Brooke) and Thompson’s (Gazella thompsoni Guenther) in the dryland habitats.. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation. 6(5):581-588.: Afr. J. Range For. Sci. Abstract2014_ngugi_et_al_ijbc-6-8_seasonal_botanical_characteristics_of_gazelles_diets.pdfWebsite

Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an
increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009).
This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

  2014.  Mureithi, SM, Njoka, JT, Gachene CKK, Verdoodt, A., Wasonga, VO, de Naave, S. and Van Ranst E. Impact of enclosure management on soil properties and microbial biomass in a restored semi-arid rangeland, Kenya.. Journal Arid Land. 6(5):561-570.: Journal of Arid Land AbstractWebsite

Rangeland degradation is a serious problem throughout sub Saharan Africa and its restoration is a challenge for the management of arid and semi-arid areas. In Lake Baringo Basin in Kenya, communities and individual farmers are restoring indigenous vegetation inside enclosures in an effort to combat severe land degradation and address their livelihood problems. This study evaluated the impact of enclosures’ management on soil properties and microbial biomass, being key indicators of soil ecosystem health. Six reseeded communal enclosures using soil embankments as water-harvesting structures and strictly regulated access were selected, varying in age from 13 to 23 years. In 6 private enclosures, ranging from 3 to 17 years in age, individual farmers emulated the communal enclosure strategy and restored areas for their exclusive use. Significant decreases in bulk density, and increases in the organic carbon, total nitrogen and microbial biomass contents and stocks were found in the enclosures as compared with the degraded open rangeland. In the private enclosures, the impact of rehabilitation on the soil quality was variable, and soil quality was in general lower than that obtained under communal management. The significant increase of absolute content stocks of carbon, nitrogen and microbial biomass compared to the degraded open rangeland indicates the potential for the restoration of soil quality through range rehabilitation. Over-sowing with indigenous legume fodder species could improve total nitrogen content in the soil and nutritional value of the pastures as well.

2012

Verdoodt, A;, Moussandek R;, Mureithi SM;, Vermang, J.; Ye L.  2012.  Opportunities and challenges in assessing and combating land degradation.. Abstract

Technology development for assessing and combating land degradation faces various challenges, both
in high and low income countries. This paper aims to highlight knowledge gaps on spatio-temporal
soil functioning and on efficiency of soil conservation measures: (1) “What are current challenges
related to assessing land degradation?”, (2) “What do we know about the impact of land degradation
on food security?”, and (3) “What is the efficiency of conservation measures?”. The discussion
encompasses soil degradation at field plot to continental scale, as well as bottlenecks relevant to both
low and high-income countries. Key issues identified within each theme are illustrated using a number
of case studies. They illustrate the need for innovative approaches to systematic assessments of the
dynamic nature of soil functioning and degradation, of the impact of soil degradation on various
ecosystem services, to support the identification and design of suitable soil management, soil
conservation or soil improvement measures. Experimental trials and process-based models reflecting
ecosystem functioning, though highly time and data demanding, are still needed to pursue better local
insights and feed process-based land degradation models applied at watershed scale.

2011

Opiyo, FEO, Ekaya WN, Nyariki DM, Mureithi SM.  2011.  Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya. Abstract

Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to meet germination and plant growth requirements. A study was undertaken in the semi-arid environment of eastern Kenya to determine the effects of land treatment on morphometric characteristics of E. superba, C. ciliaris and E. macrostachyus. Seed viability of the grasses was estimated by germination tests. Land treatments involved soil ripping using a tractor and hand-clearing. Thirty-five plants were randomly selected per sub-plot and tagged for sampling. Morphometric characteristics of the grass species were measured weekly. Aboveground biomass was estimated by harvesting standing biomass three months after establishment. Seed viability tests showed significant differences (p<0.05) among the three grass species. This was attributed to intrinsic properties of the grass seeds such as dormancy and tegumental hardness. Seedling survival, foliage cover, plant height, leaf and tiller numbers, and aboveground biomass were significantly higher in ripped plots than hand-cleared plots. It was concluded that soil disturbance influences plant morphometric charact

Opiyo, FEO, Ekaya WN, Nyariki DM, Mureithi SM.  2011.  Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya. Afr. J. Plant Sci. 5(8): 460. African Journal of Plant Sciences. 5(8):460–468.: Rangeland Ecology & Management Abstract2011_opiyo_et_al_ajps-5-8_seedbed_influence_on...pdfWebsite

Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals.
However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis
superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an
alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little
success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to meet
germination and plant growth requirements. A study was undertaken in the semi-arid environment of
eastern Kenya to determine the effects of land treatment on morphometric characteristics of E. superba, C. ciliaris and E. macrostachyus. Seed viability of the grasses was estimated by germination tests. Land treatments involved soil ripping using a tractor and hand-clearing. Thirty-five plants were randomly selected per sub-plot and tagged for sampling. Morphometric characteristics of the grass species were measured weekly. Aboveground biomass was estimated by harvesting standing biomass three months after establishment. Seed viability tests showed significant differences (p<0.05) among the three grass species. This was attributed to intrinsic properties of the grass seeds such as dormancy and tegumental hardness. Seedling survival, foliage cover, plant height, leaf and tiller numbers, and aboveground biomass were significantly higher in ripped plots than hand-cleared plots. It was concluded that soil disturbance influences plant morphometric characteristics and plays an important role in the success rate of restoration attempts in semi-arid rangelands.

Key words: Perennial grasses, morphometric characteristics, hand-clearing, reseeding, ripping, semi-arid
rangelands.

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2011.  Strategies for Mitigating Drought-induced Resource Use Conflicts among Pastoralists of Northwestern Kenya. Climate change and conflict: Where to for conflict sensitive climate adaptation in Africa? EXPERT SEMINAR: 15 & 16 ACCORD. , Johannesburg, South Africa: Rangeland Ecology & Management Abstract

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Mureithi, SM, Njoka JT, Gachene CKK, Verdoodt A, Warinwa F, Ranst VE.  2011.  Impact of rehabilitated sites on herbivore dynamics in a livestock-wildlife interface in Laikipia, Kenya. CBD Technical Series. 62. p.78-80, 7 - 11 November . CBD SBSTTA 15 - Fifteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. , Montreal, Canada: Rangeland Ecology & Management Abstract

Refer Website

Ngugi, RK, Mureithi SM, Kamande PN.  2011.  Climate forecast information: the status, needs and expectations among smallholder agro-pastoralists in Machakos District, Kenya.. Intern. J. Current Res. . 6(11):006-012.: Conference Proceedings Abstract2011_ngugi_et_al_ijcr-3-11_climate_forecast_information.pdfWebsite

The potential use of seasonal climate forecasts in farm and resource management has been studied
in a number of cultural contexts around the world. Many of these studies reveal difficulties that
smallholders encounter in accessing, interpreting and applying forecasts for their own benefit. This
study looked at the awareness of and usage of climate forecast information in central Kenya in the
aftermath of the 1997/98 El Niño event. Household surveys were conducted in Machakos District,
Kenya, in January 2001. Retrospective and concurrent awareness and application of seasonal
forecast information was assessed for 240 households across a range of agro ecological zones. The
results show high degree of awareness and use of forecasts. Farmers discussed both actual and
potential application of forecasts for both above-normal and below-normal rainfall. The influence of
the El Niño tendency to increase the rainfall as in the case of 1997/98 El Niño was clear from their
emphasis on strategies to mitigate the impacts of above-or below-normal rainfall. Applications of
information in both crop and livestock management are documented. Constraints still exist, such as
interpretation of information, relevance of the variables forecast to the management decisions of
concern, confidence in the forecasts, and timely and affordable access to resources such as seeds.
We suggest that collaborative efforts between the forecast providers and the users of information
may be directed towards addressing these constraints. For instance in case of abnormal
phenomenon such as droughts or floods, forecasts can be closely followed by early warning
campaigns with clear guidelines of how to prepare, distributed through the FM radio in local
languages order to abate human suffering

Keywords: Climate forecast, Smallholders, Agro-pastoralists, El Niño, Kenya.

and Opiyo FEO, MSMNRK.  2011.  The influence of water availability on pastoralist’s resource use in Mwingi and Kitui Districts in eastern Kenya.. Journal of Human Ecology. 35(1):43-52.: Rangeland Ecology & Management AbstractWebsite

Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an
increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009).
This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2010

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2010.  Stephen M. Mureithi and Francis Omondi Opiyo. 2010. Resource Use Planning: Experience from Turkana and Pokot Pastoralists of North-western Kenya. In Proceedings, 2nd International Conference on Climate Change, Development and Sustainability in Semi Arid R. ICID+18. : Conference Proceedings Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.
MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2010.  Mureithi, S. M., Verdoodt, A. and Van Ranst E. 2010. Effects and implications of enclosures for rehabilitating degraded semi-arid rangelands: Critical lessons from Lake Baringo Basin, Kenya. In: Land Degradation and Desertification: Assessment, Mitigation. Journal Arid Land. : Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York. DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-8657-0. Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.
MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2010.  Impacts of management and enclosure age on recovery of the herbaceous rangeland vegetation in semi-arid Kenya. Verdoodt, A., Mureithi S.M. and Van Ranst E. 2010. Journal of Arid Environments 74: 1066-1073.. Journal of Arid Environments. : Tropical and Sub-tropical Ecosystems 10 (3) (441-449). Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2009

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2009.  Logistic models with rainfall generated carrying capacities for wild herbivores. Kinyua, P.I.D. and Mureithi, S.M. Paper Presented at: The 19th East African Environmental Network Conference 22nd -23rd May 2009, AMREF International Training Centre, Nairobi. The 19th East African Environmental Network Conference 22nd -23rd May 2009, AMREF International Training Centre, Nairobi Kenya. Conference theme: Energy, Gender and the Environment.. : EAEN Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.
MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2009.  Chronosequence analysis of two enclosure management strategies in degraded rangeland of semi-arid Kenya. Verdoodt A, Mureithi SM, Ye L and Van Ranst E. 2009. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129 (1-3): 332. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129 (1-3): 332. : Elsevier J. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129 (1-3): 332 Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.
MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2009.  The effects of Prosopis juliflora Hyne (DC) and Acacia tortilis (Forssk) trees on herbaceous plants species and soil physical and chemical properties, on Njemps flats Baringo District, Kenya. Kahi, C.H., Ngugi, R.K., Mureithi, S.M. and J.C. Ng. Tropical and Sub-tropical Ecosystems 10 (3) (441-449).. : Tropical and Sub-tropical Ecosystems 10 (3) (441-449). Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2008

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2008.  The effects of enclosures for rehabilitating degraded semi-arid land in Lake Baringo Basin, Kenya. Mureithi, S.M., Verdoodt, A. and Van Ranst, E. In: Zdruli, P. and Constantini, E. (Eds). 2008. . 5th International Conference on Land Degradation. Valenzano, Bari, Italy 18-22 September 2008. Pp 135-141 ISBN 2-85352-399-3. : 5ILCD Proceedings Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2007

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2007.  Evaluation of Forest Community Associations as Avenues for Participatory Forest Management in Kenya. Alice W. Mwangi and Stephen M. Mureithi. In: Ongugo P.O., Kagombe J.K., Wandago B.O., Gachanja M and Mbuvi M.T., 2008 (eds.) Better Managed Forests and Im. 1st National Participatory Forest Management Conference. June 6 - 8, 2007. KEFRI, Muguga, Kenya.. : KEFRI Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2003

MWANGI, MRMUREITHISTEPHEN.  2003.  Spatial structure of the population of Fat Sand Rat Psammomys obesus in the vicinity of Sede Boqer. Marina Butylkina, Lilit Mirzoyan and Stephen M. Mureithi. Project Research Paper in Sixth International Course on Conservation of Biodiversity in Desert Ec. MASHAV Special Project Research Paper. : MASHAV Abstract
Cities around the world are currently facing considerable pressure to cope with infrastructure provision amidst rapid urban development and economic growth. Kenya is also facing an increasing growth of informal settlements in her urban centres. As rapid urbanization takes its toll, so has the development and growth of slums. More than 34% of Kenya‟s total population lives in urban areas and of this, more than 71% is confined in informal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2009). This paper presents the result of study to assess the effects of the change in land use in two sub-catchments, in an urban area close to the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD). The paper compares the change in land use of two regions in Nairobi, Kenya that are slowly changing due to the fast growing population and economy, on urban runoff.

2001

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