Woody Plant Diversity and Density in Selected Eucalyptus and Other Plantation Forest Species in Ethiopia

  • Shiferaw AlemEmail author
  • Muhammad Nakhooda
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 17)


Eucalyptus spp. forests play a vital role in meeting the global demands for wood, paper, pulp and timber products. They are established in many countries worldwide in varying climates and are significant contributors to the regional and global economies due to their relatively diverse gene pool. Despite this, Eucalyptus spp. are often considered to be detrimental to the diversity and density of indigenous woody plants than other exotic plantations since they may inhibit the natural regeneration of local flora. Through the consolidation of various data, this review highlights the impact of Eucalyptus spp. forests on woody plant diversity and density. Data from three sites in Ethiopia were investigated: plantations of E. camaldulensis in the Bedele area and Abelti Gibie Valley, and E. grandis in Belete Gera Forest. The results indicated that far from being inhibitory, Eucalyptus spp. plantations sustain a greater number of woody plants in terms of density and diversity compared with other exotic plantation forests. In all cases, the Shannon Diversity Index (H’) within an investigated Eucalyptus spp. plantation was above 1.57. Furthermore, Eucalyptus spp. forests were shown to contain densities of at least 2293 woody plant species/ha, which compares favourably against other plantation forests containing species such as Pinus or Acacia. It is suggested that when managed well, with appropriate species-to-site establishment, Eucalyptus spp. forests may favour the selection of woody plants for sustainable agroforestry practices and should be considered in conjunction with conservation initiatives.


Conservation Density Diversity Eucalyptus camaldulensis Eucalyptus grandis Woody plants 



The Authors would like to thank Dr. Taryn Ralph of the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, for proofreading this manuscript and for improving upon the language used, as well as all other researchers who graciously shared their knowledge with us, in putting this publication together.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geo-BiocenologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology and Consumer Sciences, Faculty of Applied SciencesCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of Life Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering and ScienceUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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