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Title:Terrain and land use influence on patterns of soil properties in a micro-catchment on Mt. Elgon, Uganda
Author:Bamutaze, YazidhiISNI
Periodical:African Geographical Review (ISSN 1937-6812)
Geographic term:Uganda
land use
Abstract:Soil properties are important indices of land degradation and productivity potential. The authors evaluate the interrelationship between selected soil properties vis--vis land use and slope gradient in a small catchment on Mt. Elgon in Uganda. The studied properties are soil texture, soil acidity, soil organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. Two predominant land uses on Mt. Elgon: annual land use (ALU) and perennial land use (PLU); and three slope gradient categories: low gradient, moderate gradient and steep gradient categories are considered. The results show that soil properties on Mt. Elgon are highly variable and are primarily influenced by the soil-terrain relationship as opposed to the soil-land use one. Moreover, it is evident that the quantities of soil properties observed under PLU, which is invariably assumed to possess better soil properties, are not any different from those of the ALU environment. Land management strategies should therefore prioritize interventions that are terrain-oriented. The results also show that soils on steep slopes have better nutrient and water retention capacities than those on gentler slopes, thereby disputing the validity of the commonly-held notion that low slope gradient areas are often less degraded and require relatively less attention. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]