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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A field assessment of land use systems and soil properties at varied landscape positions in a fragile ecosystem of Mount Elgon, Uganda
Authors:Oyana, Tonny J.
Kayendeke, Ellen
Bamutaze, YazidhiISNI
Kisanga, Danielson
Periodical:African Geographical Review (ISSN 1937-6812)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:land use
soil management
Abstract:The purpose of this field study was to identify and characterize land use systems at varied spatial hierarchies, and to differentiate soil properties along varied landscape positions in the fragile ecosystem of Mount Elgon, Kenya. Key data about existing land use systems and soil properties were systematically collected in 12 sites. Topographic profiles across catchment and geomorphic units were identified to show the relation typical of a mountain ecosystem. The authors found statistically significant differences in soil properties along altitudinal gradients in 52 percent of the samples and also in land use and land cover distribution characteristics along the slope gradients. The most dominant soils were sandy loam on the hillslopes and clay loams at the footslopes; and most of the cultivated fields were located on slopes ranging from 0 to17 percent. The livestock production system was based on a small constructed unit with a capacity to enable feed resources. Soil conservation practices that were evident among the study sites included the use of mulching, hedgerows, intercropping, fallowing, and minimum tillage. Deep empirical knowledge of this system will further advance our understanding on how a fragile ecosystem responds to both natural and human-caused change, and its associated impact on the surrounding environment. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]