Land degradation & development vol:19 issue:3 pages:257-274
Land use in a 208 ha representative catchment in the Tigray Highlands, Dogu’a Tembien district in Northern Ethiopia was studied in relation to soil geography. Typical soils are Vertisols, Vertic Cambisols, Cumulic Regosols, Calcaric Regosols and
Phaeozems. Patterns of land use vary greatly within the catchment and results from x2-tests showed strong associations
(p<0.001) between soil type and land use and crop production system. There is a strong association between cropland and
colluvium high in basaltic content because the most fertile soils, such as Vertisols and Vertic Cambisols, have developed on this
material. Preference is for autochthonous soils on in situ parent material, irrespective of the rock type, to be put under rangeland.
Land use by smallholders in Dogu’a Tembien appears to be the result primarily of the interaction between environmental and