Physico-chemical Characteristics of the Soils in Three Church Forest of Central Ethiopia

Eguale Tadesse Kifle (Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute, Central Ethiopia Environment and Forest research Center, Gurd Shola, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)


Physical and chemical properties of soils interact each other either positively or negatively depending on the condition. Vegetation has influence on the soil physico-chemical characteristics. Land use land cover changes are the main factors in the process of land resource degradation. The objectives of this study were to define the soil texture, bulk density and extent of organic carbon in church forests and adjacent croplands and to compare the values. Transect lines of 100 meter apart and plots of 20 m × 20 m were established to collect soil samples in the church forests and individual farm plots. The distance between plots was 100 m. Horizon based soil sampling was undertaken. Soil samples were collected on a diagonal position from 2 edges and the center from 2 soil horizons (H1 and H2) for soil texture and soil organic carbon (SOC) analysis. For bulk density (BD) soil core samplers were used. The data was analyzed using one way ANOVA in SPSS v20. Mean separation was undertaken by least significance difference. The results revealed the %clay content was significantly higher in croplands than church forests and the %sand was higher in church forests than croplands at (p<0.05). The SOC was significantly higher in H1 than H2 and in church forests than croplands at (p<0.05). The better soil characteristics were obtained in church forests than in croplands. Hence, it is recommended to conserve the natural forests as in the church forests to maintain better property of the soil through enhancing soil organic matter, soil organic carbon and by decreasing soil bulk density.


Bulk density; Farm land; Land use; Organic carbon; Vegetation ;Soil texture ;Soil horizons

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