Impact of Altitude and Land Use Type on Some Physical and Chemical Properties of Acidic Soils in Tsegede Highlands, Northern Ethiopia


A study was conducted in the Tsegede highlands of Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia to determine the changes in some physical and chemical attributes across three adjacent acidic soil sites with different elevation and three land use types. Analytical results of the collected surface layer soil samples showed significant (P ≤ 0.05) correlation of soil bulk density, OM and total N with elevation. In the lower elevation site (Indaslasie), soil OM content declined by about 43 and 52% compared with that of the two higher elevation sites (Cheguarcudo and Indamariam), respectively. Soil pH, exchangeable acidity, exchangeable Al, OM, total N and available phosphorus also exhibited significant (P ≤ 0.05) disparity across the three land use types of the area. Soils of the forest land were less acidic by 0.43 and 0.68 pH units than the cultivated and grazing lands, respectively. The soil OM content of the cultivated land was significantly lower by about 25 and 35% than the grazing and forest land soils, respectively. Available soil P status was low and showed significant correlations with pH (r = 0.65), exchangeable acidity (r = –0.58) and Al (r = –0.53). In general, the study results revealed altitude did not impose any significant effect in aggravating soil acidity whereas land use type affected significantly not only soil acidity but also the important soil fertility related parameters such as OM, total N and available P contents. Therefore, it can be suggested that besides to the usual acid soil management and/or reclamation practices, introducing proper land use management systems are of paramount importance.

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A. Kidanemariam, H. Gebrekidan, T. Mamo and K. Kibret, "Impact of Altitude and Land Use Type on Some Physical and Chemical Properties of Acidic Soils in Tsegede Highlands, Northern Ethiopia," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 223-233. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2012.23027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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