The Effects of Integrated Soil Conservation Practices on Soil Physico-Chemical Properties: The Case of Menesibu District, West Ethiopia

Mathewos Bekele


The study was conducted in Ethiopia, in Oromia Regional State, West Wollega Zone, Menesibu district to evaluate the effect of integrated soil conservation practices on soil physical and chemical properties. The land treated by integrated soil conservation practices were compared with land untreated. These were again evaluated across three slope gradients and two soil depths. The slope gradients were; gentle slope (3-10%), moderate slope (10-25%) and steep slope (>25%). The study adopted a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with split-split plot layout. A total of 36 soil samples were collected from the top 0-20 cm and 20-40cm soil depths, which were replicated three times and the selected physical and chemical properties were analyzed in the laboratory. The results of the study showed that soil bulk density (BD), soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N) available phosphorus and potassium (Av-P &Av-K), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and exchangeable cations (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) were significantly different (P < 0.05), with the land treated by soil conservation practices showing better conditions than the untreated control under the three slope gradients and the two soil depths. No significant difference was observed in terms of soil texture between the conserved and un-conserved lands but there were significant differences among the slope gradient and the soil depths. The carbon to nitrogen ratio (C/N) was also not significantly different between the two land types (conserved and un-conserved land), slope gradients and soil depths.

Keywords: Soil conservation practices, conserved land, un-conserved land, soil physical properties, soil chemical properties

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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