International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering
Subscribe to IJWREE
Full Name*
Email Address*

Article Number - 3B0FC1862314


Vol.9(1), pp. 1-7 , January 2017
DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE2016.0693
ISSN: 2141-6613



Full Length Research Paper

Comparative assessment of soil and nutrient losses from three land uses in the central highlands of Ethiopia



Daniel Jaleta*
  • Daniel Jaleta*
  • Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar
Boniface P. Mbilinyi
  • Boniface P. Mbilinyi
  • Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar
Henry F. Mahoo
  • Henry F. Mahoo
  • Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar
Mulugeta Lemenih
  • Mulugeta Lemenih
  • Department of Forestry and Natural Resource, Farm Africa, P. O. Box 5746, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 14 October 2016  Accepted: 22 November 2016  Published: 31 January 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


Land use/land cover change drive changes in several ecosystem processes over short and long terms. In Ethiopia, the main land use/land cover change involves conversion of natural ecosystem into cultivated land. However, a recent change also involves conversion of cultivated and grazing land into Eucalyptus woodlots. This study was conducted to analyse the effects of such land use/land cover change on soil and nutrient losses. Three land use/ land cover types (cultivated land, grassland and Eucalyptus woodlot) were selected for a comparative assessment. A total of twelve runoff plots, each with 43.3 m2 area and with four replications, were installed. Rainfall depth, runoff volume and sediment samples (500 ml) were collected from each plots every morning and evening for 91 days (from 4th July to 2nd October, 2015) in the main rainy season. The sediment samples for ten consecutive days were stored in separate containers and composite sediment concentration samples were weighed after being filtered and oven dried for 24 hours at 105oc. From the samples taken at the end of the rainy season, separate composite a sample before filtration of one litre was analysed in the laboratory for nutrient losses. The effect of land use/land cover on soil and nutrients losses was statistically tested using analysis of variance. The study found that soil loss significantly differed between the land use/land cover types. Soil loss from cultivated land (16.8 ton/ha) was significantly higher than loss from grassland (7 ton/ha) and Eucalyptus stand (8.1 ton/ha). The soil and nutrient losses were positively correlated with runoff volume. There was higher nutrient (N and P) loss from cultivated land than grassland and Eucalyptus. From the results, it can be concluded that soil and nutrients losses are above tolerable limit, and perennial land covers including Eucalyptus stand reduce soil and nutrient losses significantly. This re-affirms the multi-purpose nature of Eucalyptus not only for socioeconomic benefit but also for soil erosion control when planted in appropriate locations.

Key words: Cultivated land, grassland, runoff, sediment concentration, runoff plot.

Adimassu Z, Mekonnen K, Yirga C, Kessler A (2014). Effect of soil bunds on runoff, soil and nutrient losses, and crop yield in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Land Degrad. Dev. 25:554-564.
Crossref

 

Adimassu Z, Kessler A, Yirga C, Stroosnijder L (2010). Mismatches between Farmers and Experts on Eucalyptus in Meskan Woreda, Ethiopia. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Eucalyptus Species Management, History, Status and Trends in Ethiopia. (Edited by Gil L, Tadesse W, Tolosana E, Lopez R), 15-17 September 2010, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pp. 146-159.

 

Amsalu A, Stroosnijder L, De Graaf J (2007). Long-term dynamics in land resource use and the driving forces in the Beressa watershed, highlands of Ethiopia. J. Environ. Manage. 83:448-459.
Crossref

 

Bekele T (2015). Integrated Utilization of Eucalyptus globulus grown on the Ethiopian Highlands and its Contribution to Rural Livelihood: A Case Study of Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations Nationalities and People's Regional State Ethiopia. Int. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 4(2):80-87.

 

Bewket W (2002). Land cover dynamic since the 1950s in Chemoga watershed, Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Mt. Res. Dev. 22:263-269.
Crossref

 

Briassoulis H (2000). Factors influencing Land Use and Land Cover Change. In: Encyclopedia of Land use, land cover and soil sciences. Land cover, land use and global change. (Edited by Verheye WH). Encyclopedia of Life Support System. pp. 1-9.

 

Chanie T, Collick SA, Adgo E, Lehmann CJ, Steenhuis ST (2013). Eco-hydrological impacts of Eucalyptus in the semi humid Ethiopian Highlands: the Lake Tana plain. J. Hydrol. Hydromech. 61(1):21-29.
Crossref

 

Defersha MB, Melesse AM (2012). Field scale investigation of the effect of land use on sediment yield and runoff using runoff plot data and models in the Mara River basin, Kenya. Catena. 89(2012):54-64.
Crossref

 

Dwivedi RS, Sreenivas K, Ramana KV (2005). Land-use/land-cover change analysis in part of Ethiopia using Landsat Thematic Mapper data R. Int. J. Remote Sens. 26 (7):1285-1287.
Crossref

 

Erkossa T, Wudneh A, Desalegn B, Taye G (2015). Linking soil erosion to on-site financial cost: lessons from watersheds in the Blue Nile basin. Solid Earth. 6:1-10.
Crossref

 

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1998). The soil and Terrain Database for Northeastern Africa. Land and Water Digital Media Series 2. FAO, Rome.

 

Fikreyesus S, Kebebew Z, Nebiyu A, Zeleke N, Bogale S (2011). Allelopathic effects of Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Dehnh.) on germination and growth of tomato. Am-Eur. J. Agric. Environ. Sci. 11(5):600-608.

 

Fisseha G, Gebrekidan H, Kibret K, Yitaferu B, Bedadi B (2011). Analysis of land use/land cover changes in the Debre-Mewi watershed at the upper catchment of the Blue Nile basin, northwest Ethiopia. J. Biodivers. Environ. Sci. 1(6):184-198.

 

Gebreegziabher T, Nyssen J, Govaerts B, Getnet F, Behailu M, Haile M, Deckers J (2008). Contour furrows for in situ soil and water conservation, Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Soil Tillage Res. 103:257-264.
Crossref

 

Girmay G, Singh BR, Nyssen J, Borrose T (2009). Runoff and sediment associated nutrient losses under different land uses in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. J. Hydrol. 376:70-80.
Crossref

 

Haileslassie A, Priess J, Veldkamp E, Lesschen JP (2006). Smallholders' soil fertility management in the Central High- lands of Ethiopia: implications for nutrient stocks, balances and sustainability of agro ecosystems. Nutr. Cycle Agro Ecosyst. 75(1):135-146.
Crossref

 

Herweg K, Stillhardt B (1999). The variability of soil erosion in the Highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Research Report 42, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Berne, Switzerland. P 81.

 

Hurni H, Messerli B (1981). Mountain research for conservation and development in Simen, Ethiopia. Mt. Res. Dev. 1:49-54.
Crossref

 

Hurni H (1985). Erosion – productivity - conservation systems in Ethiopia. Proceedings 4th International Conference on Soil Conservation, Maracay, Venezuela. pp. 654-674.

 

Hurni H (1993). Land degradation, famine, and land resource scenarios in Ethiopia. In: World soil erosion and conservation (Edited by Pimentel, D.), Cambridge Studies in Applied Ecology and Resource Management. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. pp. 27–61.
Crossref

 

Jagger P, Pender J (2003). The role of trees for sustainable management of less favored lands: the case of Eucalyptus in Ethiopia. For. Policy Econ. 5:83-95.
Crossref

 

Jaleta D, Mbilinyi B, Mahoo H, Lemenih M (2016a). Evaluation of Land Use/Land Cover Changes and Eucalyptus Expansion in Meja Watershed, Ethiopia. J. Geogr. Environ. Earth Sci. Int. 7(3):1-12.
Crossref

 

Jaleta D, Mbilinyi B, Mahoo H, Lemenih M (2016b). Eucalyptus expansion as relieving and provocative tree in Ethiopia. J. Agric. Ecol. Res. Int. 6(3):1-12.
Crossref

 

Jenbere D, Lemenih M, Kassa H (2012). Expansion of Eucalypt farm forestry and its determinants in Arsi Negelle district, south central Ethiopia. Small-Scale For. 11(3):389-405.
Crossref

 

Kebebew Z, Ayele G (2010). Profitability and household income contribution of growing Eucalyptus globules (Labill.) to smallholder farmers: the case of central Highland of Oromia, Ethiopia. Eur. J. Appl. Sci. 2(1):25-29.

 

Kindu M, Schneider T, Teketay D, Knoke T (2015). Drivers of land use/land cover changes in Munessa-Shashemene landscape of the south-central highlands of Ethiopia. Environ. Monit. Assess. 187(7):4671.
Crossref

 

Lambin EF, Geist HJ, Lepers E (2003). Dynamics of land-use and land cover change in tropical regions. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 28:205-241.

 

Lemenih M (2010). Growing Eucalypts by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Eucalyptus Species Management, History, Status and Trends in Ethiopia. (Edited by Gil, L, Tadesse W, Tolosana E, Lopez R), 15–17 September 2010, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pp. 91-103.

 

Mekonnen Z, Kassa H, Lemenih M, Campbell B (2007). The role and management of Eucalyptus in Lode Hetosa district, central Ethiopia. For. Trees Livelihoods 17:309-323.
Crossref

 

Haile M, Herweg K, Stillhardt B (2006). Sustainable land management – A new approach to soil and water conservation in Ethiopia. Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, Addis Abeba. P 304.

 

Nigatu L, Michelsen A (1993). Allelopathy in agroforestry systems: the effects of leaf extracts of Cupressus lusitanica and three Eucalyptus spp. on four Ethiopian crops. Agrofor. Syst. 21:63-74.
Crossref

 

Nyssen J, Poesen J, Moeyersons J, Haile M, Deckers J (2008). Dynamics of soil erosion rates and controlling factors in the Northern Ethiopian highlands – towards a sediment budget. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms 33(5):695-711.
Crossref

 

Patnaik P (2010). Handbook of environmental analysis: chemical pollutants in air, water, soil and solid wastes. Second edition. CRC Press, Boca Raton London, New York. P 824.
Crossref

 

Soil Conservation Research Programme (SCRP) (2000). Concept and methodology: Long term monitoring of agricultural environment in six stations in Ethiopia. Soil Erosion and Conservation Database. Bern, Switzerland and Addis Abeba, Ethiopia: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and Ministry of Agriculture. Bern, Switzerland.

 

Tekele K, Hedlund L (2000). Land cover changes between 1958 and 1986 in Kalu district, southern Wello, Ethiopian. Mt. Res. Dev. 20:42-51.
Crossref

 

Walle S, Chantawarangul K, Nontananandh S, Jantawat S (2006). Effectiveness of grass strips as barrier against runoff and soil loss in Jijiga area, northern part of Somali region, Ethiopia. Kasetsart J. 40:549-558.

 

Wubie MA, Assen M, Nicolau MD (2016). Patterns, causes and consequences of land use/cover dynamics in the Gumara watershed of Lake Tana basin, Northwestern Ethiopia. Environ. Syst. Res. 5:1-8.
Crossref

 

Zeleke G, Hurni H (2001). Implications of land use and land cover dynamics for mountain resource degradation in the North western Ethiopian Highlands. Mt. Res. Dev. 21(2):184-191.
Crossref

 


APA Jaleta, D., Mbilinyi, B. P., Mahoo, H. F., & Lemenih, M. (2017). Comparative assessment of soil and nutrient losses from three land uses in the central highlands of Ethiopia. International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, 9(1), 1-7.
Chicago Daniel Jaleta, Boniface P. Mbilinyi, Henry F. Mahoo and Mulugeta Lemenih. "Comparative assessment of soil and nutrient losses from three land uses in the central highlands of Ethiopia." International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering 9, no. 1 (2017): 1-7.
MLA Daniel Jaleta, et al. "Comparative assessment of soil and nutrient losses from three land uses in the central highlands of Ethiopia." International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering 9.1 (2017): 1-7.
   
DOI 10.5897/IJWREE2016.0693
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/IJWREE/article-abstract/3B0FC1862314

Subscription Form