Indigenous woody species diversity in Eucalyptus globulus Labill. ssp. globulus plantations in the Ethiopian highlands
- Cite this article as:
- Yirdaw, E. & Luukkanen, O. Biodiversity and Conservation (2003) 12: 567. doi:10.1023/A:1022483700992
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The naturally regenerated native woody species diversity was studied ineucalypt plantations at Menagesha, where there was remnant natural forest, and atChancho, where natural forests were absent. A total of 22 and 20 woody speciesbelonging to 18 and 17 families were found, and of these species, treesaccounted for 68 and 55% at Menagesha and Chancho, respectively. About 83% ofthe woody species found in the adjacent natural forest, including importanttimber species were represented in the eucalypt understory at Menagesha.However, the relative abundance of species in eucalypt plantations and theadjacent natural forest varied considerably. Woody species richness andabundance of sample plots at Menagesha were on average 2.4 times and 5.7times higher, respectively, than the sample plots at Chancho. This resultdemonstrates the crucial role of the remnant small patches of natural forest,as a source of diaspores for the restoration of the woody species diversity indegraded areas of the Ethiopian highlands. There was no significant differencein woody species diversity between the eucalypt stand margin and centre. Theunderstory woody species density in eucalypt plantations was up to 8325stems/ha, indicating that the numerous eucalypt stands have a highpotential for restoring the woody species diversity in the Ethiopian highlands.In order to fully re-establish the diverse and economically valuable naturalforest, complementary measures such as enrichment planting of missing primaryforest species may be required.