Characterization of Physicochemical Properties of Soils as Influenced by Different Land Uses in Bedele Area in Ilubabor Zone, Southwestern Ethiopia

Abera Donis


Important morphological and physic chemical properties of soils of Bedele area were investigated to reveal the effect of different land uses (forest, grazing and cultivated lands) and to provide the baseline data for future research and development. Following site selection and field morphological studies of one freshly opened profile on each land use type, the physicochemical properties of the soils were characterized in the laboratory both on disturbed and undisturbed soil samples collected from each genetic horizon. The results of the study revealed that the soil morphological, physical and chemical properties varied with land uses. For instance, the surface horizons of the forest, grazing and cultivated lands were sandy loam, clay loam and loam in texture, respectively. Among the surface horizon the highest CEC (42.00 cmol(+) kg-1, OC (10.74%) total  N (0.667%), available P (5.2 mg kg-1) for Olsen method and (9.51 mg kg-1) for the Bray II, were observed in the forestland whilst the lowest were recorded in the cultivated field. On the other hand, available Fe and Mn were below the toxic level to plant growth in the different land uses while soil pH (H20), under all the land uses qualify for strongly acidic (pH 4.50-5.25) throughout the entire depth of the respective profile.  Generally, the intensity of soil degradation was severe under the cultivated field. Therefore, reducing the intensity of cultivation and adopting integrated soil fertility management could maintain the existing soil condition and replenish the degraded soil chemical properties of the study area.

Keywords: morphology, physicochemical, Bedele, cultivated, forest and grazing land

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

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