African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

Exploring the Impact of Land Use Systems and Soil Depth on Selected Soil Physicochemical Properties in the Ageza Watershed, Northwestern Ethiopia

Tesfahun Kassahun, Habtamu Admas, Ewunetu Tazebew

  •  Received: 16 December 2023
  •  Accepted: 02 May 2024
Improper land use practices contribute to widespread deforestation, elevated levels of soil erosion and degradation in Ethiopia. This study aimed to assess the impact of various land use types and soil depths on selected soil physicochemical properties in the Ageza watershed in north-western Ethiopia. Soil samples were collected at depths of 0-20 and 20-40 cm to analyze soil physicochemical characteristics. The results of the study showed land use, soil depth, and their interactions significantly (P ? 0.05) influenced parameters such as sand, silt, field capacity, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, cation exchange capacity, and available micronutrients. Surface grazing land displayed higher bulk density whereas FL surface and cultivated land subsurface (CLs) exhibited lower values. The FL surface layer showcased the greatest SOC, TN, Fe, and CEC content (3.00%, 0.30%, 18.1 mg/kg, and 24.2 cmol (+)/kg), while CL subsurface and GL, CL, GL subsurface displayed lower levels (0.89%, 0.15%, 5.4 mg/kg, and 10.0 cmol (+)/kg), respectively. FL subsurface recorded the highest pH values (5.2) while CL surface exhibited the lowest (4.43). In conclusion, cultivated land is trending below the soil conditions compared with other land uses. Therefore, reducing till cultivation and grazing intensity could maintain the overall soil condition.

Keywords: Cultivated land, grazing land, forest land, soil quality, land use system, watershed