Effects of Graded Stone Bunds on Selected Soil Properties in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia
Land degradation is one of the major challenges in agricultural production in many parts of the world, especially in developing nations like Ethiopia. To combat the problem different Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) measures were introduced in the country. This research was conducted in the Harowerke micro-watershed, West Showa Zone, Oromia Regional State to assess effect of conservation measures on selected soil properties. Graded stone bunds are one of the conservation measures in study area. It included a comparison between farm plots with six-year graded stone bund and non conserved ones. A total of 48 surface soil samples were collected and analyzed for soil bulk density (BD), moisture content (MC), organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), hydrogen ion concentration (pH) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) of soil. Results showed that soil BD and soil MC were significantly (p≤0.05) affected by the soil conservation measures and slope gradients. Soil OM, TN, and CEC also showed significant differences between conserved and non conserved as well as slope gradients. Soil pH did not show significant difference. The non conserved plots had the lowest soil OM, TN and CEC. The soil OM content of the plots were positively correlated to soil MC (R2=0.86), total N (R2=0.73), CEC (R2=0.65) and inversely correlated to soil BD (R2=0.68). The contribution of conservation measure to improve soil properties is significant in the study site. Additional soil fertility management practices, those including biological measures, could be added for better effect. Moreover, further research need to be conducted on socio-economic aspects for a better understanding of the sustainable use of the land.
Effects of Graded Stone Bunds on Selected Soil Properties in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia, International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management.
Vol. 1, No. 2,
2016, pp. 42-50.
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