The investigation was undertaken at Hamesa watershed of Wolayita Zone with the aim to assess the consequences of land-use systems and topography on the physical and chemical properties of selected soils. Surface soil samples taken at 0-15 and 15-30 cm depths from three land-use systems (enset, grassland and maize fields) were collected under three slope positions (upper, middle and lower). Both the clay and bulk density increased with depth, while total nitrogen (N), OC, available P and micro-nutrients (Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu) decreased. On the landscape positions, increase in exchangeable Ca and K, pH, bulk density and available Mn down the slope was observed; whereas total N, OC, available P and available Fe showed decreasing trend down the slope. At 0-15 cm soil depth, grassland soils exhibited higher bulk density and lower porosity as a result of livestock movement which was compacted. Grasslands had higher OC and TN compared to the other two land-use systems, due to the accumulation of humus in the root system in the grassland. Application of household refuses and manure contribute to increasing available P, TN, Zn, Ca and K contents in enset farmland. On the contrary, maize land use had lower CEC, K, PBS, Mg, TN and OC, which might be due to crop removal, erosion phenomena, and excessive tillage activities. These results suggest that for sustainable crop production, proper management practices should be in place by considering different slope positions and land-use systems.
Key words: Land use system, slope position, physical, chemical soil properties.
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