Effects of Land Use/Land Cover Change on Some Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Ameleke micro-Watershed, Gedeo and Borena Zones, South Ethiopia

Gebrekidan Worku


This study investigates effect of land use and land cover change (LUCC) on some soil physical and chemical properties at Ameleke micro-watershed, South Ethiopia. Satellite images of 1986, 2000 and 2006 were used to analyze LUCCs of the watershed. For the purpose of soil sampling, the watershed was divided in to three altitudinal belts, from each of which two sample sites were taken. From each sample site, composite soil samples were collected from agroforestry, crop land, grass land and shrub lands in three replications at 0-15cm and 15-30 cm depth and selected soil physical and chemical properties were analyzed. The result of the land use/cover analyses showed that agroforestry and crop lands occupy larger part of the upland while grass and shrub lands occupy larger part of the middle and lower altitude of the watershed. The change detection study revealed that from 1986 to 2006, crop land  area increased from 23.3% to 31.0%; grass lands decreased from 25.9% to 14.96% and shrub lands  decreased from 30.3% to 24.25%. Analyses of soil properties reveal that significant differences (p <  0.05) in soil available K, TN, OC, OM, available P and soil texture and insignificant differences in soil  pH and CEC among land use and land cover types. The difference in soil properties among land use and land covers is highly significant at 0-15 cm depth than at 15-30 cm depth.  This study recommends assessment of land use and land covers at homestead level and sharing experiences for expansion of agro forestry type of land use between Gedeo and Guji Oromo people are central for sustainable management of natural resources of the watershed.

Keywords:land use and land cover change, soil chemical properties, soil physical properties, Ameleke micro-watershed, South Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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