Floristic diversity and composition of the Biteyu forest in the Gurage mountain chain (Ethiopia): implications for forest conservation

Original Paper

Abstract

The Afromontane forests of Ethiopia have been under a serious degradation threat. Assessment of floristic diversity and species composition in Biteyu forest of Gurage mountain chain in the central Ethiopia was conducted to examine the pattern of forest structure. Thirty plots of 30 m × 30 m were used to record the vegetation and environmental data using systematic sampling technique. The local name, plant scientific names, DBH, height, species abundance and percentage canopy cover of plant species were recorded. Shannon diversity index and Sorensen’s coefficients was used for comparison among communities and similar forests in the country. Threats to the forest biodiversity in Biteyu were determined by counting cattle interference and wood stumps as disturbance indicators. Relative Euclidean Distance measures by using Ward’s method (linkage) was applied for cluster analysis. Environmental variables were also recorded in each plot. Woody species population structure, basal area and importance value index were analyzed using spreadsheet programs. Data on species distribution and environmental variables in the forest were analyzed by canonical correspondence analysis. A total of 190 species in 154 genera under 73 families were identified. Twenty species were found to be endemic taxa to the Flora Area. Only three plant community types were identified from the cluster analysis due to the high human influence. The Sorensen’s coefficient showed the resemblance of the Biteyu forest with other Dry Evergreen Afromontane forests in the country. Moreover, altitude and slope strongly affect the species composition and structure of Biteyu forest. Given the high anthropogenic influence, high endemism, high dependence of the local community on the forest resources, forest conservation and restoration measures should be done by stakeholders.

Keywords

Biteyu forest Forest conservation Forest structure Plant community Threats 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge Addis Ababa University and the Rufford Foundation in the UK for a small grant to carry out this research project. The local community in Meserete Wogeram Kebele and the office of SUNARMA in Butajira town are highly appreciated for providing important information.

Supplementary material

11676_2018_623_MOESM1_ESM.docx (39 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 39 kb)

References

  1. Abate A, Tamrat B, Sebsebe D (2006) The undifferentiated afromontane forest of Denkoro in the central highland of Ethiopia: a floristic and structural analysis. SINET Ethiop J Sci 29:45–56Google Scholar
  2. Alemineh A, Demel T, Yonas Y, Edwards S (2007) Diversity and status of regeneration of woody plants on the peninsula of Zegie, northwestern Ethiopia. Trop Ecol 48:37–49Google Scholar
  3. Allen SE (1974). Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials, 2nd ed. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. pp 450–565Google Scholar
  4. Barbour MG, Burk JH, Pitts WD (1987) Terrestrial plant ecology, 2nd edn. Benjamin Cummings Publishers, New York, pp 1–634Google Scholar
  5. Bolstad PV, Swank, WT, Vose, J (1998) Predicting Southern Appalachian overstory vegetation with digital terrain data. Landsc Ecol 13:271–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonnefille R (1983) Evidence for a cooler and drier climate in the Ethiopian uplands towards 2.5 Myr. ago. Nature 303:487–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonnefille R, Hamilton AC (1986) Quaternary and late tertiary history of Ethiopia vegetation. Symb Bot Ups 26:48–63Google Scholar
  8. Chapman CA, Chapman LJ (1997) Forest regeneration in logged and unlogged forests of Kibale National Park, Uganda. Biotropica 29:396–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clark JS (1991) Disturbance and population structure on the shifting mosaic landscape. Ecology 72:1119–1137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Curtis JT (1959) The vegetation of Wisconsin: an ordination of plant community. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp 600–657Google Scholar
  11. Curtis JT, McIntosh RP (1951) An upland forest continuum in the prairie forest border region of Wisconsin. Ecology 32:476–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Demel T (1997) Seedling population and regeneration of woody species in dry Afromontane forests of Ethiopia. For Ecol Manag 98:149–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Demel T, Tamrat B (1995) Floristic composition of Wof-Washa natural forest, Central Ethiopia: implications for the conservation of biodiversity. Feddes Repert 106:127–147Google Scholar
  14. Desalegn T, Ermias L, Destaw D, Adane A (2013) Floristic diversity and regeneration status of woody plants in Zengena Forest, a remnant montane forest patch in northwestern Ethiopia. J For Res 25(2):329–336Google Scholar
  15. EMSA (2016). Ethiopian Meteorological Service Agency. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Unpublished National data)Google Scholar
  16. Ensermu K, Teshome S (2008) Interfaces of regeneration, structure, diversity and uses of some plant species in Bonga Forest: a reservoir for wild coffee gene pool. SINET Ethiop J Sci 31:121–134Google Scholar
  17. Ensermu K, Sebsebe D, Zerihun W, Edwards S (1992) Some threatened endemic plants of Ethiopia. NAPRECA Monogr Ser 2:35–55Google Scholar
  18. Ermias A (2011) Forest diversity in fragmented landscapes of northern Ethiopia and implications for conservation. Ph.D. Thesis, Bonn University, Germany, pp 24–142Google Scholar
  19. Ermias L, Ensermu K, Tamirat B, Haile Y (2008). Plant species composition and structure of the Mana Angetu moist montane forest, south-eastern Ethiopia. J East Afr Nat Hist 97(2):165–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Feyera S (2006) Biodiversity and ecology of afromontane rainforests with wild Coffea arabica L. Populations in Ethiopia. Ecology and Development Series No. 38.Center for Development Research, Cuvillier Verlag Göttingen. University of Bonn, Germany, pp 27–153Google Scholar
  21. Feyerea S, Manfred D (2006) Effects of wild coffee management on species diversity in the Afromontane rainforests of Ethiopia. For Ecol Manag 232:68–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Foaham B, Jonkers WBJ (1992) A programme for Tropenbos research in Cameroon. Final Report, Tropenbos-Cameroon programme, Phase 1. The Tropenbos Foundation, Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp 102–181Google Scholar
  23. Friis I (1992) Forest and forest trees of northeast tropical Africa: their natural habitats and distribution pattern in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Kew Bull Add Ser 15:396Google Scholar
  24. Friis I, Sebsebe D (2001) Vegetation maps of Ethiopia and Eritrea. A review of existing maps and the need for a new map for the flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. In: Friis I, Ryding O (eds) Biodiversity research in the horn of Africa region. Proceedings of the 3rd international symposium on the flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea at the Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen, pp 399–439Google Scholar
  25. Friis I, Edwards S, Ensermu K, Sebesbe D (2001) Diversity and endemism in the flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea—what do the published flora volumes tell us? Biol Skr 54:173–193Google Scholar
  26. Friis I, Sebsebe D, Breugel PV (2011) Atlas of the potential vegetation of Ethiopia. The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen, pp 1–307Google Scholar
  27. Gauch HGJ (1982) Multivariate Analysis in Community Structure. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp 194–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gentry AH (1992) Tropical forest biodiversity: distributional patterns and their conservation significance. Okos 63:19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gillespie AJR, Grijalva A, Farris CN (2000) Diversity, composition, and structure of tropical dry forests in Central America. Plant Ecol 147:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grubb PJ, Lloyd JR, Pennington JD, Whitmore JC (1963) A comparison of montane and lowland rain forest in Ecuador. I. The forest structure, physiognomy and floristics. J Ecol 51:567–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kent M, Coker P (1992) Vegetation description and analysis. A practical approach. Wiley, New York, pp 296–363Google Scholar
  32. Lieberman D, Lieberman M, Peralta R, Harthorn GS (1996) Tropical forest structure and composition on a largescale altitudinal gradient in Costa Rica. J Ecol 84:137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mekonnen B (2003). An Ecological Study of Biteyu Forest, Gurage Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities Peoples Region. MSc Thesis (unpublished), Addis Ababa University, p 88Google Scholar
  34. Muller-Dombois D, Ellenberg H (1974) Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. Sons and Wiley, New York, pp 495–547Google Scholar
  35. Plumptre A (1996) Changes following 60 years of selective timber harvesting in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. For Ecol Manag 89:101–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. R Core Team (2016) A language and environment for statistical computing, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/. Accessed 16 Nov 2015
  37. Richards PW (1996). The Tropical Rain Forest, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp 500–575Google Scholar
  38. Sebsebe D, Melaku W, Yilma D (1996) Ethiopa’s natural base. In: Tilahun S, Edwards S, Egziabher TBG (eds) Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia: a First Inventory. Ethiopia Wildlife and Natural History Society, Addis Ababa pp 36–53Google Scholar
  39. Shannon CE, Wiener W (1949) The mathematical theory of communication. The University of Illinois Press, Urbana, pp 87–144Google Scholar
  40. Struhsaker TT (1997) Ecology of an African rain forest: logging in Kibale and the conflict between conservation and exploitation. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, pp 365–456Google Scholar
  41. Tadesse W (1998) Diversity of woody plants and Avifauna in a dry Afromontane forest on the central plateau of Ethiopia. M.Sc. Thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, pp 24–65Google Scholar
  42. Tadesse W (2003) Vegetation ecology of the Yayu forest in SW Ethiopia: impacts of human use and implications for in situ conservation of wild Coffea arabica L. populations. Ecology and Development Series No. 10. Center for Development Research, Gottingen, Germany, pp 9–120. https://cuvillier.de/de/shop/publications/3387. Accessed 12 Dec 2016
  43. Tadesse WG, Borsch T, Denich M, Demel T (2008) Floristic composition and environmental factors characterizing coffee forests in southwest Ethiopia. For Ecol Manag 255:2138–2150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tamrat B (1993) Vegetation and ecology of Afromontane forests on the central plateau of shewa, Ethiopia, Acta phytogeorgr. Suec. 79, Opulus Press AB, Uppsala, pp 3–61Google Scholar
  45. Tamrat B (1994) Phytosociology and ecology of humid Afromontane forest on the central plateau of Ethiopia. J Veg Sci 5:87–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ter Braak CJF (1994) Canonical community ordination. Part I: basic theory and linear methods. Ecoscience 1(2):127–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Teshome S, Ensermu K (2013) Diversity and endemicity of Chilimo forest, central Ethiopia. Biosci Discov 4(1):01–04Google Scholar
  48. Teshome S, Demel T, Sebsebe D (2004) Ecological study of the vegetation in Gamo Gofa zone, southern Ethiopia. J Trop Ecol 45:209–221Google Scholar
  49. Tewolde Berhan G (1988). Vegetation and environment of the mountains of Ethiopia: Implications for utilization and conservation. Mt Res Dev 8:211–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van der Maarel E (1979) Transformation of cover abundance values in phytogeography andits effects on community similarity. Vegetatio 39:97–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vivero JL, Ensermu K, Sebsebe D (2005) The red list of endemic trees and shrubs of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge, pp 1–28Google Scholar
  52. Whittaker RH (1975) Communities and ecosystems, 2nd edn. Machmillan publishing, London, pp 104–156Google Scholar
  53. Yalden DW (1983) The extent of high-ground in Ethiopia compared to the rest of Africa. SINET Ethiop J Sci 6:35–39Google Scholar
  54. Zerihun W (1999) Forests in the vegetation types of Ethiopia and their status in the geographical context. In: Edwards S, Abebe D, Taye B, Haase G (eds) Forest genetic resources conservation: principles, strategies and actions. Workshop proceedings. Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research, and GTZ, Addis Ababa, pp 1–38Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Talemos Seta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sebsebe Demissew
    • 1
  • Zerihun Woldu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management (DPBBM)Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of BiologyDilla UniversityDillaEthiopia

Personalised recommendations