Geopedological and Landscape Dynamic Controls on Productivity Potentials and Constraints in Selected Spatial Entities in Sub-Saharan Africa



Soil-landscape relations play an important role in the agricultural production systems of Sub-Saharan Africa. As the demands on elevated agricultural productivity grows in the face of increasing demographic pressure and the adverse impacts of global environmental change, we must identify socio-ecological production landscapes that are resilient to environmental changes. This paper analyses a spectrum of spatial and non-spatial datasets covering soil, terrain, land use, and geology in a GIS environment to derive spatial entities that inform the production potentials and constraints of East Africa. Landscape analysis, premised on the geopedological and elevation constructs, culminated in a spatial coverage of lowlands (40 %), plateaux (46 %), highlands (11 %) and mountains (3 %) across the East African region. Regional-level analysis reveals spatially variable soil typologies dominated by Cambisols (24 %) and Ferralsols (13 %). In these geomorphic landscapes and soil types, there are two outstanding anthropogenic threats to productivity: soil erosion and land use/cover conversions and transformations. These must be delicately tackled with site-specific tailored interventions that not only recognize geopedological landscape sensitivity, but also the inherent social systems.


Geopedological Geomorphology Landscape dynamics Productivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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