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Soil fertility augmentation through indigenous tree species in Gummara-Maksegnit watershed, North Ethiopia

Journal of Environment and Biotechnology Research, Vol. 8, No. 2, Pages 22-28, Apr 2019

K. Gurebiyaw, M. Yigzaw, A. Sisay

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2619837


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ABSTRACT

Soil fertility improvement using sole application of artificial fertilizer is not commendable due to inaccessibility and financial stress for a farmer living in developing countries. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate ability of locally available tree species for soil fertility maintenance in Gummara-maksegnit watershed, Ethiopia. Questionnaires were administered to a total of 385 respondents with aim to determine three topmost preferred tree species for soil fertility enhancement. Leaf litter from the selected tree species and soil samples from both under the canopy of the selected tree species and open (controlled) area was collected for soil chemical properties analysis. Croton macrostachyus, Cordia africana and Olea europaea was perceived as to be the best by 42%, 32% and 26% of the respondents respectively. Leaf litter of C. macrostachyus, C. africana, and O. europaea had significantly different (P < 0.05) nitrogen value. In addition, leaf litter of C. macrostachyus and C. africana also showed higher concentration of P and K than O. europaea. Soil properties under the canopy of all the selected tree species significantly differ (P<0.05) from the open (controlled) sampling point mainly because of nutrient addition from the fallen leaf litter to the underneath soil. Therefore, it is necessary to advise farmers to let these tree species grow on their farms and improve soil condition to achieve maximum production.
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Journal of Environment and Biotechnology Research
Volume 8, Number 2, 2019, pp. 22-28
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