African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 970

Full Length Research Paper

Agro-ecological assessment of physico-chemical properties of soils in Kulfo Watershed, South Western Ethiopia

Teshome Yirgu
  • Teshome Yirgu
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.
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Yibeltal Yihunie
  • Yibeltal Yihunie
  • Department of Natural Resources Management, Arba Minch University, P. O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia.
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Alemu Asele
  • Alemu Asele
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 08 October 2019
  •  Accepted: 21 November 2019
  •  Published: 31 January 2020

Abstract

Variation in physical landscape of the highlands gives rise to variations in agro-climatic and soil parent materials in Ethiopia. The aim of this research is to characterize the physio-chemical properties of soils in Kulfo watershed. For the study, primary data from transect walks, composite soil samples and GPS points and secondary data from satellite imaginaries, National Metrological Agency and Central Statistical Agency were used. 36 composite soil samples (0-30 cm depth) were collected from three agro-ecologies (upland, mid and lowland) and analyzed in soil laboratory. Accordingly, the watershed is characterized into four agro ecologies: Lowland (20.9%), midland (35.9%), highland (37.4%) and cold high mountain areas (5.8%). Soil analysis revealed that dominantly the watershed is characterized as textually clay loam to sandy loam and there are no significant textural differences among soils in all agro-ecologies. The soil reaction varies from moderately acidic (with pH 5.4) to neutral (pH 7.3). The watershed is dominated by medium organic matter, low total nitrogen, very low available phosphorus (3.83-6.65 ppm), high potassium and very low to low cation exchange capacity. Soil and water conservation measures in the upland and use of organic manure in the lowland areas could be the viable options for rehabilitation of soil productivity.

 

Key words: GIS, remote sensing techniques, transect walk, composite soil sample.