The investigation was undertaken at Hamesa watershed of Wolayita Zone with the objective to assess the consequences of land-use systems and topography on selected soil physical and chemical properties. Surface soil samples were taken at 0-15cm and 15-30cm depths from three land-use systems (enset, grassland and maize fields) were collected under three slope positions (upper, middle and lower). Both clay and bulk density increased with depth while total N, OC, available P and micro-nutrients (Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu) showed a decreasing tendency. On the landscape positions, increases 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 were showing decreasing trend down the slope. At 0-15cm soil depth, grassland soils had exhibited higher bulk density and lower porosity as a result of livestock movement made very compacted. Grasslands had higher OC and TN compared with other two land-use systems due to the accumulation of humus in the root system in grassland. Application of household refuses and manure contributed 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 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.
Keywords: : land use system, slope position, physical and chemical soil properties