Benefits of selected land management practices on ecosystem services: case studies in four watersheds of Ethiopia
Investments in land management practices, such as stone and soil bunds, are a key strategy to recover degraded lands in Ethiopia. However, the benefits of these practices in relation to ecosystem services are not properly assessed and documented. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the benefits of land management practices in relation to provisioning, supporting and regulating ecosystem services. The study was conducted in four watersheds with selected indicators of provisioning, supporting and regulating ecosystem service. Generally, the results show that provisioning services (e.g. yield of crops), regulating services (e.g. organic matter accumulation) and supporting services (e.g. soil nutrient content) were improved with age of stone and soil bunds except in Jawe-gumbura watershed.
Accordingly, in Alekit-wonz watershed, the grain yield of barley recorded from 4-year-old stone bunds was higher than the yield recorded from 2-year old soil bund. Similarly, in Borodo watershed, the grain yield of wheat from 5-year-old soil bunds was higher than the yield obtained from the control treatment. The results also showed that highest regulating and supporting ecosystem services were recorded in the accumulation zones in all watersheds compared with erosion zone. Similarly, the highest provisioning services were recorded at the accumulation zone in all watersheds. This shows that land management practices are effective to improve supporting, regulating and provisioning ecosystem services. Hence, more investments in land management are needed to enhance ecosystem services from degraded lands of Ethiopia.
Adimassu, Zenebe; Tamene, Lulseged.