Soil Quality Analysis for Sustainability of Forest Ecosystem: The Case of Chilimo-Gaji Forest, West Shewa Zone, Ethiopia

Siraj Mammo, Zhang Kebin, Achalu Chimidi, Hamza Ibrahim


The study was conducted to assess the soil quality with respect to the sustainability of Chilimo-Gaji Forest ecosystem using selected soils physicochemical parameters. Soil samples were taken through random sampling from the natural forest land under three different forest user groups (FUGs) in order to determine selected soils physicochemical properties. The result of the present study indicated that total N, available P and K, and % C were higher on the surface soil (0-20cm) than in the subsoil (20-30cm) depth indicating more nutrients are concentrated in the surface soil. The result of the study also revealed that presence of low bulk density ranges from 0.4 to 1.029 and high moisture content of soil ranging 4.89%-7.60%. The result also indicated that there is a higher per cent of carbon and organic matter across the three FUGs with Galessa recording the highest % carbon (7.69) and organic matter (13.25), followed by Gaji and Chilimo FUGs. The study also revealed that forest soil of the study area was very fertile and sustainable as the parameters analyzed indicating the forest ecosystem in the study area is sustainably managed under the new paradigm of participatory forest management. Scaling up participatory forest management to other protected forests in Ethiopia is crucial and plays a key role in the sustainability of healthy forest ecosystem.

Keywords: Ethiopia; Forest user groups; physicochemical parameters; Soil organic carbon; Soil quality

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-3-01

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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

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