Impacts of Eucalyptus Plantations on Soil Physiochemical Properties and its Economic Implications of Jarso Woreda, West Wollega Zone of Oromia

Dessalegn Etana, Shabu Jemal

Different tree species are blamed to have negative effects on soil ecosystems by changing soil physicochemical properties, and hence soil quality. However, few researches to verify this statement in Ethiopia. This study investigated the effect of Eucalyptus plantations on selected soil physical and chemical properties in Jarso wereda west wollega of Oromia regional states. To conduct the study three land-uses (Eucalyptus plantations, croplands and natural forests) were used for comparison. Each experimental plot was sub-divided into three sub-plots for soil sampling. Sampling was done to 30 cm depth with soil auger for soil sample except soil moisture content which the sample was taken from 0-30 cm and 30-60 cm. The soil samples were dried and analyzed while following standard procedures. One way anova test result indicated that Eucalyptus plantations have significantly different effect on soil parameters such as texture (sand, silt and clay), soil moisture contents, pH level, total nitrogen, and organic. However, the three land uses/covers did not significantly differ from each other in influencing the soil bulk density, Avp and CEC.

Due to the less decomposition rate of the Eucalyptus leaves and debris collection for fuel could result in lowest soil organic carbon of Eucalyptus plantation soils. The presence of highest, cation exchange capacity and in cultivated land soil was related to application of artificial fertilizers. Natural forest soil soils have highest soil pH values, total nitrogen and organic carbon which can be related to the leave and debris return and less surface run off on natural forest.

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