Scattered trees as modifiers of agricultural landscapes: the role of waddeessa (Cordia africana Lam.) trees in Bako area, Oromia, Ethiopia


*Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Forestry Research Center, PO Box 30708, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tel.: +251 116 460 444; Fax: +251 116 460 345; E-mail:


Scattered trees in general and scattered waddeessa (Cordia africana Lam.) trees in particular are very common across the agricultural landscapes in Oromia, Ethiopia. A study on this scattered waddeessa trees commonly growing on farmers’ agricultural fields was conducted at Bako in western Oromia, Ethiopia with the objective of assessing their role in modifying the soil properties in the agricultural landscape. Soil samples from surface layers (0–10 cm) were taken at three concentric transects (0.5, 2 and 4 m) around the tree and compared with soil samples from the adjacent open areas (15 m distance from the tree), and then analysed following the standard procedures. Results showed that scattered waddeessa trees significantly modified the overall properties of the soil in the agricultural landscape of Bako area. But soil texture was not affected, indicating that it is more related to parent material than the tree influence. Hence, the soil patches observed under these waddeessa trees can be important local nutrient reserves that may influence the rural agricultural landscape. They also play an important role in generating local household income from the sale of products and conserving biodiversity by providing habitats and resources that are otherwise absent or scarce in agricultural landscape.