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Gewählte Doctoral Thesis:

Tesfaye Feyisa Beyene (2012): Field indicators of soil physical and chemical properties as an aid for the development of sustainable management strategies in Northwest Ethiopia.
Doctoral Thesis - Institut für Waldökologie (IFE), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 225. UB BOKU obvsg

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
The objective of this study was to derive a set of soil indicators, which describe the integrity of subsistence farming systems in Northwestern Ethiopia. Data on soil morphological, physical and chemical properties as well as soil quality indicators used by local farmers were compared for different land use types and topographic positions in two watersheds. In steep upslope positions there were significant differences in soil depth and indicators of erosion: shallow Leptosols, high rock and sand content of the topsoil in the grazing land; intermediate soil depth and severe erosion of Regosols and Luvisols of recently encroached agricultural land and forests open for grazing; soil restabilization and humus enrichment of afforested former agricultural land (CPF); deeply weathered Nitisols in the undisturbed church forest (ChF). In mid to lower slope positions farmland soils were of intermediate depth and stabilized with erosion control structures (except for a severely eroded, very old farmland in one watershed). PCA resulted in three factors: ‘humus content’ loaded positively by organic carbon and total nitrogen and exchangeable P contents and negatively by bulk density; ‘base status’ (cation exchange capacity and base saturation) and ‘water supply’ (effective depth and water storage capacity). Scores followed the gradient ChF and CPF, agriculture and grazing land. Farmers’ soil quality classification could be confirmed by significant differences of the aforementioned indicator values and of the grain yield. Multiple regression analyses revealed that grain yield could be predicted by a combination of base saturation, nitrogen content and water storage capacity (r^2=0.93). The results shall be used to develop adaptive sustainable soil management strategies for the Ethiopian highlands. Participative approaches for erosion control and management of soil organic matter and nutrient status are urgently needed.

Betreuer: Katzensteiner Klaus
1. Berater:
2. Berater: Gratzer Georg

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