Soil Quality Attributes Induced by Land Use Changes in the Fincha’a Watershed, Nile Basin of Western Ethiopia

Soil Quality Attributes Induced by Land Use Changes in the Fincha’a Watershed, Nile Basin of Western Ethiopia

Getahun Kitila1*, Heluf Gebrekidan2, Tena Alamrew3 1 College of Natural, Computational Sciences, Wollega University, Post Box No: 395, Nekemte, Ethiopia 2 School of Natural Resource, Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Post Box No: 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia 3 Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, Post Box No: 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia: Soil Quality Attributes Induced by Land Use Changes in the Fincha’a Watershed, Nile Basin of Western Ethiopia. In: Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal, 5 (1), pp. 16-26, 2016, ISSN: 2226-7522 (Print) and 2305-3372 (Online).

Abstract

Abstract Article Information
The success of soil management to maintain soil quality depends on an understanding of how
soils respond to land use and practices over time. As a result, the important soil quality
indicators were investigated under two land use systems to provide base line data for future
research in the Fincha’a Valley Sugar Estate (FVSE), within the Nile basin of Western
Ethiopia. The evidences provided by this study indicated that land use changes caused
changes on soil bulk density (ρb), soil water content, Particle size distribution (sand, silt and
clay), soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic matter (SOM), total N, carbon to
nitrogen ratio (C:N) and available phosphorous (Av. P). The study revealed that soil organic
matter (SOM), sand content and total N decreased with increase in soil depth. While bulk
density (ρb), EC and clay content increased with soil depth. Particle size distribution (sand,
silt, and clay) varied with land use, soil depth and soil type. Particle size distribution was
changed from Sandy clay to clay due to land use change. Bulk density (ρb), EC, soil organic
matter (SOM) and C:N varied significantly (P<0.01, P<0.05), respectively, with land use and
soil depth. Land use changes caused bulk density (ρb) to be increased. The study indicated
that soil pH was higher in irrigated land than the un irrigated land. This attributed to the
transportation of soluble cations from the upstream to the downstream irrigated land by water
soil erosion. The different soil fertility management practices also contributed to the variation.
On the other hands, soil organic matter (SOM) and total N were lower in irrigated land.
Relatively, the lower soil organic matter (SOM) and total N contents in irrigated land attributed
to the optimum soil moisture content throughout the year that created favorable environmental
condition for SOM decomposition. The study also revealed that soil management groups and
soil water holding capacity at field capacity and permanent wilting point were affected by
irrigation (land use).It was identified more than 50% of the soil quality indicators increased
with depth. This might be the influence of irrigation water in accelerating leaching process.
The main degradation process overcome the study area was waterlogging and soil
compaction. The irrigation development in the area requires improved drainage network and
proper land management. Therefore, reducing the intensive mechanized tillage practices and
use of integrated inorganic and organic fertilizers could replenish the degraded soil quality for
sustainable agricultural production in the study area. It is therefore, suggested that
appropriate and integrated land management options for different land use systems together
with identification of soil management groups and water retention characteristic curves are
required to sustain agricultural productivity while protecting the environmental degradation.
Article History:
Received : 01-02-2016
Revised : 27-03-2016
Accepted : 28-03-2016
Keywords:
Soil Quality
Land Use
Soil Type
Environment
Sugarcane
Land Management
Fincha’a Valley
Western Ethiopia
Fertilizers
*Corresponding Author:
Getahun Kitila
E-mail:
gkitila@gmail.com
Copyright@2016 STAR Journal, Wollega University. All Rights Reserved. maldamercy@yahoo.com

BibTeX (Download)

@article{v5i1.32016,
title = {Soil Quality Attributes Induced by Land Use Changes in the Fincha’a Watershed, Nile Basin of Western Ethiopia},
author = {Getahun Kitila1*, Heluf Gebrekidan2 and Tena Alamrew3
1
College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Wollega University, Post Box No: 395, Nekemte, Ethiopia
2
School of Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Post Box No: 138,
Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
3
Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, Post Box No: 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia},
url = {https://starjournal.org/5-1-3-2/},
doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/star.v5i1.3},
issn = {2226-7522 (Print) and 2305-3372 (Online)},
year  = {2016},
date = {2016-03-29},
journal = {Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal},
volume = {5},
number = {1},
pages = {16-26},
abstract = {Abstract Article Information
The success of soil management to maintain soil quality depends on an understanding of how
soils respond to land use and practices over time. As a result, the important soil quality
indicators were investigated under two land use systems to provide base line data for future
research in the Fincha’a Valley Sugar Estate (FVSE), within the Nile basin of Western
Ethiopia. The evidences provided by this study indicated that land use changes caused
changes on soil bulk density (ρb), soil water content, Particle size distribution (sand, silt and
clay), soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic matter (SOM), total N, carbon to
nitrogen ratio (C:N) and available phosphorous (Av. P). The study revealed that soil organic
matter (SOM), sand content and total N decreased with increase in soil depth. While bulk
density (ρb), EC and clay content increased with soil depth. Particle size distribution (sand,
silt, and clay) varied with land use, soil depth and soil type. Particle size distribution was
changed from Sandy clay to clay due to land use change. Bulk density (ρb), EC, soil organic
matter (SOM) and C:N varied significantly (P<0.01, P<0.05), respectively, with land use and
soil depth. Land use changes caused bulk density (ρb) to be increased. The study indicated
that soil pH was higher in irrigated land than the un irrigated land. This attributed to the
transportation of soluble cations from the upstream to the downstream irrigated land by water
soil erosion. The different soil fertility management practices also contributed to the variation.
On the other hands, soil organic matter (SOM) and total N were lower in irrigated land.
Relatively, the lower soil organic matter (SOM) and total N contents in irrigated land attributed
to the optimum soil moisture content throughout the year that created favorable environmental
condition for SOM decomposition. The study also revealed that soil management groups and
soil water holding capacity at field capacity and permanent wilting point were affected by
irrigation (land use).It was identified more than 50% of the soil quality indicators increased
with depth. This might be the influence of irrigation water in accelerating leaching process.
The main degradation process overcome the study area was waterlogging and soil
compaction. The irrigation development in the area requires improved drainage network and
proper land management. Therefore, reducing the intensive mechanized tillage practices and
use of integrated inorganic and organic fertilizers could replenish the degraded soil quality for
sustainable agricultural production in the study area. It is therefore, suggested that
appropriate and integrated land management options for different land use systems together
with identification of soil management groups and water retention characteristic curves are
required to sustain agricultural productivity while protecting the environmental degradation.
Article History:
Received : 01-02-2016
Revised : 27-03-2016
Accepted : 28-03-2016
Keywords:
Soil Quality
Land Use
Soil Type
Environment
Sugarcane
Land Management
Fincha’a Valley
Western Ethiopia
Fertilizers
*Corresponding Author:
Getahun Kitila
E-mail:
gkitila@gmail.com
Copyright@2016 STAR Journal, Wollega University. All Rights Reserved. maldamercy@yahoo.com},
keywords = {STAR},
pubstate = {published},
tppubtype = {article}
}

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