Linking selected soil properties to land use and hillslope – A watershed case study in the Ethiopian Highlands
H. Addis, A. Klik, T. Oweis, S. Strohmeierhttps://doi.org/10.17221/117/2015-SWRCitation:Addis H., Klik A., Oweis T., Strohmeier S. (2016): Linking selected soil properties to land use and hillslope – A watershed case study in the Ethiopian Highlands . Soil & Water Res., 11: 163-171.
Deforestation of native forests for crop production in the Gumara-Maksegnit watershed, located in the Lake Tana basin, Ethiopia, dramatically increases the vulnerability of the soil for rainfall driven erosion. Hence, the central task of the study is to investigate general links of land-use and topography related to selected soil properties. The 53.7 km2 watershed was divided into a 500 × 500 m square grid to sample bulk density (ρd), pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (AP), and texture of topsoil. Such properties were investigated with respect to the two main land-uses, forest and agriculture, and three different slope steepness classes, 0–10%, 10–30%, > 30%. Descriptive statistics and correlation analyses were undertaken to explore potential dependencies of the obtained soil parameters according to land-use and slope steepness. The study indicates higher SOC, TN, silt and sand content in forest soils compared to agricultural soils, while solely ρd is lower in the forest soil. Overall increases of SOC, TN, silt, and sand content from the gentle to the steep slopes have been observed for both land-uses. In contrast, clay content and ρd seem to increase from steep to gentle slopes on agricultural areas, which might be due to accumulation of particularly fine soil particles eroded from the steep areas. Basic correlations valid for all land-uses and slope steepness classes have not been detected. Nevertheless, the study suggests slope steepness as a tool to assess the potential drivers of soil depletion in the Ethiopian Highlands.Keywords:
agricultural watershed; slope steepness; soil attributes; soil erosionReferences:
Abu S.T., Malgwi W.B. (2011): Spatial Variability of Soil Physico-chemical Properties in Kadawa Irrigation Project in Sudan Savanna Agroecology of Nigeria. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 6, 714-735 https://doi.org/10.3923/ijar.2011.714.735Addis Hailu Kendie, Klik Andreas, Strohmeier Stefan (2015): Spatial Variability of Selected Soil Attributes under Agricultural Land Use System in a Mountainous Watershed, Ethiopia. International Journal of Geosciences, 06, 605-613 https://doi.org/10.4236/ijg.2015.66047Amare Tadele, Terefe Aemro, G. Selassie Yihenew, Yitaferu Birru, Wolfgramm Bettina, Hurni Hans (2013): Soil Properties and Crop Yields along the Terraces and Toposequece of Anjeni Watershed, Central Highlands of Ethiopia. Journal of Agricultural Science, 5, - https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v5n2p134Barker A.V., Pilbeam D.J. (2007): Handbook of Plant Nutrition. Boca Raton, London, CRC Press.Belachew T., Abera Y. (2010): Assessment of soil fertility status with depth in wheat growing highlands of Southeast Ethiopia. World Journal of Agricultural Science, 6: 525–531.Bewket Woldeamlak, Stroosnijder Leo (2003): Effects of agroecological land use succession on soil properties in Chemoga watershed, Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Geoderma, 111, 85-98 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7061(02)00255-0Binkley D., Fisher R. (2012): Ecology and Management of Forest Soils. 4th Ed. London, John Wiley and Sons.Buol S.W., Hole F.D., McCracken R.J., Southard R.J. (1997): Soil Genesis and Classification. 4th Ed. Iowa, Iowa State University Press.Cardelli R., Marchini F., Saviozzi A. (2012): Soil organic matter characteristics, biochemical activity and antioxidant capacity in Mediterranean land use systems. Soil and Tillage Research, 120, 8-14 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2012.01.005Craswell E.T., Lefroy R.D.B. (2001): The role and function of organic matter in tropical soils. In: Martius C., Tiessen H., Vlek P. (eds): Proc. Workshop Managing Organic Matter in Tropical Soils: Scope and Limitations, Bonn, June 7–10, 1999: 7–18.Díaz-Raviña M., Bueno J., González-Prieto S.J., Carballas T. (2005): Cultivation effects on biochemical properties, C storage and 15N natural abundance in the 0–5cm layer of an acidic soil from temperate humid zone. Soil and Tillage Research, 84, 216-221 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2004.10.001Dlapa P., Chrenková K., Hrabovský A., Mataix-Solera J., Kollár J., Šimkovic I., Juráni B. (2011): The effect of land use on soil aggregate stability in the viticulture district of Modra (SW Slovakia). Ekológia (Bratislava), 30: 397–404.Emadi Mostafa, Emadi Mehdi, Baghernejad Majid, Fathi Hamed, Saffari Mahboub (2008): Effect of Land Use Change on Selected Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in North Highlands of Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences, 8, 496-502 https://doi.org/10.3923/jas.2008.496.502Emadodin I., Reiss S., Bork H.R. (2009): A study of the relationship between land management and soil aggregate stability: Case study near Albersdorf, Northern Germany. Journal of Agriculture and Biological Science, 4: 48–53.Ezeaku P.I., Eze F.U. (2014): Effect of land use in relation to slope position on soil properties in a semi-humid Nsukka area, Southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Research, 52: 369–381.Foth H.D. (1984): Fundamental of Soil Science. 7th Ed. New York, John Wiley and Sons.Grigal D. F., Ohmann L. F. (1992): Carbon Storage in Upland Forests of the Lake States. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 56, 935- https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1992.03615995005600030042xHabtamu A., Heluf G., Bobe B., Enyew A. (2014): Fertility status of soils under different land uses at Wujiraba Watershed, North-Western Highlands of Ethiopia. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 5: 410–419.Iqbal Javed, Thomasson John A., Jenkins Johnie N., Owens Phillip R., Whisler Frank D. (2005): Spatial Variability Analysis of Soil Physical Properties of Alluvial Soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 69, 1338- https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2004.0154Jenny H. (1941): Factors of soil formation – a system of quantitative pedology. New York, McGraw Hill.Kosmas C, Gerontidis St, Marathianou M (2000): The effect of land use change on soils and vegetation over various lithological formations on Lesvos (Greece). CATENA, 40, 51-68 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0341-8162(99)00064-8Obalum S.E., Nwite J.C., Oppong J., Igwe C.A., Wakatsuki T. (2011): Variations in selected soil physical properties with landforms and slope within an inland valley ecosystem in Ashanti region of Ghana. Soil and Water Research, 6: 73–82.Ogban PI, Babalola O (2009): Characteristics, Classification And Management Of Inland Valley Bottom Soils For Crop Production In Subhumid Southwestern Nigeria. Agro-Science, 8, - https://doi.org/10.4314/as.v8i1.44107R Development Core Team (2013): R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Reynolds W.D., Drury C.F., Yang X.M., Fox C.A., Tan C.S., Zhang T.Q. (2007): Land management effects on the near-surface physical quality of a clay loam soil. Soil and Tillage Research, 96, 316-330 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2007.07.003Townsend Alan R., Vitousek Peter M., Trumbore Susan E. (1995): Soil Organic Matter Dynamics Along Gradients in Temperature and Land Use on the Island of Hawaii. Ecology, 76, 721- https://doi.org/10.2307/1939339Tsui Chun-Chih, Chen Zueng-Sang, Hsieh Chang-Fu (2004): Relationships between soil properties and slope position in a lowland rain forest of southern Taiwan. Geoderma, 123, 131-142 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2004.01.031Wei Jian-Bing, Xiao Du-Ning, Zeng Hui, Fu Yi-Kun (2008): Spatial variability of soil properties in relation to land use and topography in a typical small watershed of the black soil region, northeastern China. Environmental Geology, 53, 1663-1672 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00254-007-0773-zWorku G. (2014): Effect of land use and land cover change on some soil chemical and physical properties in Ameleke Watershed, South Ethiopia. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 4: 32–37.