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Hindawi International Journal of Forestry Research Volume 2018, Article ID 5302523, 8 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5302523 Research Article Woody Species Diversity, Structure, and Regeneration Status of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest of Lasta Woreda, North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia Amanuel Ayanaw Abunie and Gemedo Dalle Centre for Environmental Science, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Amanuel Ayanaw Abunie; firstname.lastname@example.org Received 4 October 2017; Revised 3 April 2018; Accepted 16 May 2018; Published 13 June 2018 Academic Editor: Ignacio Garc´ıa-Gonzalez ´ Copyright © 2018 Amanuel Ayanaw Abunie and Gemedo Dalle. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This study is aimed at generating data on woody species diversity, structure, and regeneration status of some species and was conducted in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest of Lasta Woreda, North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Six transect lines were laid following altitudinal gradient. Quadrats of size 20 m× 20 m (400m ) were used to collect data that were established systematically at every 100 m interval along the transect lines. Data on woody species was collected from a total of 34 sampling 2 2 quadrats of 400m . To collect data on seedlings and saplings, vfi e subplots of 1 m × 1m (1m ) size located at the four corners and centre of the main plot were used. Species diversity was determined using the Shannon-Wiener index (H ). A total of 39 woody species belonging to 38 genera and 29 families were identified in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. The overall Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H ) and evenness values for the entire forest were 2.88 and 0.79, respectively. eTh six most abundant woody species in their order of highest density were Juniperus procera, Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata, Maytenus arbutifolia, Osyris quadripartita, Calpurnia aurea,and Debregeasia saeneb. eTh densities for mature woody species, saplings, and seedlings were 506.6, 514.7, and −1 2 −1 415.4 individuals ha , respectively. The basal area of the forest is 72 m ha . eTh population structure and regeneration status of the forest indicated that there have been high forest degradation and severe anthropogenic disturbances in the area and, therefore, conservation of species, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable use of the forest genetic resources are recommended as a result of this study. 1. Introduction growth, poverty, forest clearing, overgrazing, and lack of proper policy framework are some of the major factors 1.1. Background and Justification. Loss of forest cover and that contribute to the loss of forest resources in Ethiopia biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities is a growing . In general topography, soil, climate, and geographical concern in many parts of the world [1, 2]. Africa’s forest locations of a region influence the vegetation diversity of the cover is estimated to be 650 million ha, constituting 17 forest ecosystem . Lack of integration of the local people living around the conservation areas into the conservation percent of the world’s forests including a number of global biodiversity hotspots . Ethiopia is regarded as one of the efforts is the major constraint to the overall conservation most important countries in Africa with respect to biolog- effort in Ethiopia . However, the current government of Ethiopia has started to protect forests through participatory ical resources (flora and fauna) . eTh major challenge facing Ethiopia is environmental degradation manifested forest management. er Th efore, as a strategy for development in the degradation of land and water resources as well as interventions, initiation of forest management through local loss of biodiversity . Deforestation is one of the major community participation would essentially be contributing factors contributing to land degradation by exposing the to the reduction of forest degradation in Ethiopia [9, 10]. soil to various agents of erosion. Rapid human population However, availability of accurate data on forest resources 2 International Journal of Forestry Research Figure 1: Location map of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Natural Forest. ∘ ∘ is an essential requirement for management and planning and 039 04 00.8 –039 04 24.3 E (Figure 1) and extends within the context of sustainable development . Likewise, over an altitudinal range from 2565 to 3135 m with the total as a conservation approach, scientific studies on floristic area of 200ha . eTh main types of soil in the area are loamy composition, vegetation structure, and regeneration status soil. of a given forest patch are needed to determine the status of the forest and take appropriate conservation measures. 3. Sampling Design Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest, one of the most important and heritage priority areas, is currently not well managed Systematic sampling design was used to collect vegetation and most of the forest area is degraded and converted to data from the study site. Appropriate transect lines and agricultural and grazing land . eTh systematic investiga- sampling quadrats were made based on the total area of the tion of forest vegetation for this area is lacking. u Th s, the study site for vegetation data collection. Six transect lines current work on floristic composition, diversity, structural were laid following the altitudinal gradient and quadrats of analysis, and regeneration of the vegetation in the area is size 20 m× 20 m (400m ) were established systematically believed to contribute a lot to the effective conservation and at every 100 m interval. To collect data on seedlings and management of this heritage forest. The major objective of saplings, vfi e subquadrats of 1 m × 1m (1m ) size located at this study was to determine floristic composition of woody the four corners and centre of the main quadrats were used. species, regeneration status, and structure of woody species in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. 3.1. Floristic Data Collection. All the woody plant species encountered in each sample quadrats were recorded and 2. Materials and Methods coded with vernacular and local names whenever possible. 2.1. Location and Description of the Study Area. The study The plant species occurring outside sample quadrats but was conducted in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest, Lasta inside the forest were recorded only as present but not used Woreda, North Wollo Zone, Amhara National Regional State, in the subsequent vegetation data analyse. es Th e species characterized by a rugged mountain landscape, in the river and the rest plant specimens were collected, pressed, dried, valley of gorges and high clips of north Wollo, Lalibela, and brought to the National Herbarium of Ethiopia (ETH), ∘ ∘ Ethiopia. It is located between 12 07 39.9 –12 08 36.2 N Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, International Journal of Forestry Research 3 Table 1: Density and relative density (RD) of woody species. Species richness was undertaken from all species encoun- tered in each plot. −1 Species Name Density ha Relative density Juniperus procera 119.65 38.35 number of species S= (2) Olea europaea 50.67 16.24 plot Maytenus arbutifolia 28.64 9.18 Osyris quadripartita 19.81 6.35 Evenness of species was calculated by dividing H by Hmax Calpurnia aurea 17.63 5.65 (here Hmax = ln S). Debregeasia saeneb 13.23 4.24 H H (3) E= = Hmax ln S Addis Ababa University, for taxonomic identification. Phys- iographic variables such as altitude, latitude, and longitude 3.3. Importance Value Index (IVI). Importance value index were recorded for each sampling quadrat using GPS. In each which combines data from three parameters (relative fre- quadrat, trees and shrubs with DBH> 2.5 cm were measured quency, relative density, and relative abundance) is used to andrecordedfor heightanddiameteratbreastheight(DBH) compare the ecological significance of species. eTh impor- with clinometers and diameter tape, respectively. For trees tance of value index (IVI) for each woody species was and shrubs that are branched around the breast height, the calculated using the formula indicated below . circumference was measured separately and averaged. In each quadrat, the species list and number of seedlings and Importance Value= Relative density saplings were recorded to determine the regeneration status. The undergrowth of woody species with a height less than 1 + Relative frequency (4) m was considered as seedlings, height of greater than 2 m was considered as trees and shrubs, and 1-2 m was considered as + Relative dominance. sapling . 3.4. Basal Area. It is the cross-sectional area of all of the stems 3.1.1. Diameter at Breast Height (DBH). DBH measurement in a stand at breast height (1.3 m above ground level). This was taken at about 1.3 m from the ground using a diameter basal area per unit area is used to explain the crowdedness of tape. Trees and shrubs with DBH>2.5cmweremeasuredand a stand of forests. It is expressed in square meter/hectare. Its recorded for diameter at breast height (DBH). Trees/shrubs area is also used to calculate the dominance of species. Basal with multiple stems or fork below 1.3 m height were also area =Σ (d/2)2, where D is diameter at breast height. treated as a single individual (Kent and Coker, 1992). For trees and shrubs that are branched around the breast height, Dominance of Tree species Relative Dominance= ‘ the circumference was measured separately and averaged. Dominance of all species (5) Diameter class frequency distribution of selected tree species in the area was classified into ten classes: (1) 2.5-5cm, (2) ×100 5.1-10cm, (3) 10.1-15cm, (4) 15.1-20cm, (5) 20.1-25cm, (6) 25.1-30cm, (7) 30.1-35cm, (8) 35.1-40cm, (9) 40.1-45cm, (10) where dominance is average basal area per tree times the >45cm. number of tree species. Woody species density is defined as the number of plants of a certain species per unit area. 3.1.2. Height. Height is a straightforward parameter used for direct measurement purposes. The total tree heights (to the Total Number of all Trees top of the crown) were measured using Hypsometer. The Density= ×100 tree heights were classified into different classes based on Sample Size in Hectare their height. Height class frequency distribution of trees and (6) Relative Density shrubs in the area was classified into ve fi height classes: (1) <5m, (2) 5.1-10m, (3) 10.1-15m, (4) 15.1-20m, (5)>20m. Number of Individuals of Tree species = ×100 Total Number of Individuals 3.2. Data Analysis. The diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area, tree density, height, frequency, and important 3.5. Frequency. Frequency is defined as the probability or value index were used for description of vegetation structure. chance of finding a plant species in a given sample area or That accounts both for species richness and evenness, and quadrat. It is calculated with the formula below. it is not aeff cted by sample size (Kent and Coker, 1992). Shannon diversity index  was calculated. Frequency (7) Number of Plots in which species occur H =−∑𝑝𝑖 ln𝑝𝑖 (1) = ×100 Total number of plots 𝑖=1 4 International Journal of Forestry Research Table 2: Mean basal area (BA) in m and relative dominance of woody species. Species Name Mean basal area Density Dominance Relative dominance Rank Juniperus procera 0.18 119.85 21.63 66.98 1 Olea europaea 0.08 50.74 4.09 12.66 2 Clutia lanceolata 0.06 10.2 3.1 9.6 3 Acacia abyssinica 0.11 7.35 0.78 2.41 4 Hibiscus crassinervius 0.01 0.9 0.55 1.7 5 Dombeya torrida 0.1 8.6 0.4 1.24 6 Table 3: Basal area comparison of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest with other forests. Forest Basal area Author Denkoro 45.00 Abate (2003) Gelawdewos 52.00 Alemayehu (2003) Debresena 45.00 Alemayehu (2003) Dengolt 35.00 Alemayehu (2003) Kimphe Lafa 114.40  Yemrehane Kirstos 72.00 Present study Bibita 69.90 Denu  Wof-Washa 64.32 Fisaha et al. eTh frequencies of the tree and shrub species in all thirty-four species revealed that there was high domination by very few quadrats were computed. or small woody species. This also indicates that species with the highest basal area do not necessarily have the highest Frequency of Tree species density, indicating size difference between species . eTh Relative Frequency= Frequency of all Tree species following species made the largest contribution to the basal (8) area: Juniperus procera, Olea europaea, Acacia abyssinica, ×100 Allophylus abyssinicus, and Dovyalis abyssinica, respectively (Table 2). 4. Results and Discussion In general, the basal area values for present forest were higher than most of the other studied forests in Ethiopia 4.1. Floristic Composition. A total of 39 woody species . This suggests that the Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forests belonging to 38 genera and 29 families were identified have better growth and potential to retain higher biomass in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest (Table 5). Of these (Table 3). species, 19 (50%) were trees, 5 (13%) shrubs, and 14 (36.8%) tree/shrubs. Fabaceae was the most dominant family (4 4.3. Frequency. Frequency is an indicator of homogeneity species) followed by Apocynaceae, Clusiaceae, and Cupres- and heterogeneity of a given vegetation type . eTh saceae with 2 (5.26%) species each represented by nineteen higher number of species in higher frequency classes and species. The remaining represented eleven families (42.08%) lowernumberofspeciesin lowerfrequency classesshow andeachisrepresentedby asinglespecies. homogeneity in forest composition. And the low number of species in higher frequency classes shows heterogeneity of 4.2. Vegetation Structure species. The present study revealed high percentage of species in lower frequency classes and relatively low percentage of 4.2.1. Density of Woody Species. The six most abundant number of species in high frequency classes. u Th s, the result woody species in their order of density in Yemrehane Kirstos verifies the existence of high degree of floristic heterogeneity Church Natural Forest were Juniperus procera, Olea europaea, in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest . eTh relative fre- Maytenus arbutifolia, Osyris quadripartite Calpurnia aurea, quency revealed that Juniperus procera was the most frequent and Debregeasia saeneb (Table 1). species with frequency of 94.12 followed by Olea europaea, Maytenus arbutifolia, Osyris Quadripartite, Acacia abyssinica, 4.2.2. Basal Area. eTh total basal area of Yemrehane Kirstos Dodonaea viscosa, Allophylus abyssinicus, Calpurnia aurea, 2 −1 ChurchNaturalForestwasabout72m ha for woody Rhus glutinosa,and Clutia abyssinica. species that have DBH > 2.5 cm. Basal area provides the measure of the relative importance of the species rather than simple stem count . Species with higher basal area could 4.4. Species Diversity and Evenness. Species diversity is a be considered as the most important species in the study combination of the number of species and their relative vegetation. In this study, basal area analysis across individual abundance. The values of species diversity depend upon levels International Journal of Forestry Research 5 Table 4: eTh list of most frequent and most IVI of ten trees species of th e forest with their corresponding frequency, relative frequency, relative density, and relative dominance in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. Species Name Frequency (%) RF RD RDO IVI Rank Juniperus procera 94.12 23.36 38.35 79.37 141.08 1 Olea europaea 70.59 17.52 16.24 15.00 48.76 2 Maytenus arbutifolia 41.18 10.22 9.18 0.29 19.69 3 Osyris quadripartita 26.47 6.57 6.35 0.30 13.22 4 Acacia abyssinica 23.53 5.84 2.35 2.86 11.05 5 Dodonaea angustifolia 23.53 5.84 4.24 0.04 10.12 6 Allophylus abyssinicus 20.59 5.11 3.29 0.70 9.62 7 Calpurnia aurea 14.71 3.65 5.65 0.30 9.10 8 Rhus glutinosa 14.71 3.65 1.88 0.01 5.54 9 Clutia abyssinica 8.82 2.19 1.18 0.01 3.38 10 of species richness and evenness . Generally speaking, showed an inverted bell-shaped distribution. This pattern of only few species were dominating the vegetation of the study DBH classes indicates a good potential of reproduction and area in their abundance while many of the species were very recruitment of the forest. Similar results were reported by [22, rare or low in their abundance. 23]. In this study, cumulative diameter class distribution of Reports from other studies indicated that species richness the population structure of the study area reflected an irreg- and diversity tend to peak at an intermediate altitude and ularshape,whichseemedtobeabell-shapeddistribution declineatthelowerandupperelevations.Theresultofthe pattern, but a complete absence of individuals in some classes present study more or less agrees with this regarding species and a fair representation of individuals in other classes. Above richness. Such a result reflects either adverse environmental sixty-five percent of the total density is restricted in the situations or random distribution of available resource in middle andhigherdiameterclass (5-32cm),whereastherest the study area. eTh overall average Shannon-Wiener diversity of density was found to be in the lower diameter classes (1-5 index (H ) and the average evenness values of Yemrehane cm) (Figure 2). This indicated that there was drawing out of Kirstos Church Forest were 2.88 and 0.79, respectively, which treesforvariouspurposesbylocal dwellers (e.g., forfencing is higher than Harenna Forest (2.60) . According to andfuelwood,bylivestock tramplingorbrowsing,ormaybe , species area curve is a cumulative curve that relates by agricultural expansion) in the lower classes of trees in the the occurrence of species with the area sampled; curves that area. growupandflattenedattheendindicatethatthenumbers of plots taken are sufficient. Seven sample quadrats were 4.7. Height. In case of population height class distribution taken randomly and decided the species area curves of the similar results were reported in Chilimo and Menagesha vegetation of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. eTh result Forests of central plateau of Ethiopia , in Denkero Forest showedthat speciesrichnessacrossquadratswasgood and , and in Menagesha Ameba Mariam Forest . eTh patternofdiversitycurveraisedupandflatted owingtothe higher number of large-sized individuals in the upper height fairly enough number of quadrats observed. class in the natural forest implies the presence of a good number of adult tree species for reproduction . This argu- 4.5. Importance Value Index. IVI indicates the structural ment holds true for Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. This importance of a species within a stand of mixed species. is partly due to the absence of large scale timber exploitation. And it is used for comparison of ecological signicfi ance of Therefore, the current study exhibited a condition of primary species in which high IVI value indicates that the species forest development of the Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. sociological structure in the community is high. It is crucial It is noteworthy that woody species with the highest DBH size to compare the ecological significance of species . It were also recorded for the highest height (Figure 3). Although was also stated that species with the greatest importance there is selective logging of tree species at certain height, valueare theleading dominant of speciefi d vegetation. Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest exhibited individuals of all et Th optenleadingwoodyspecies withgreatest importance height classes. value and dominance in Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest were Juniperus procera, Olea europaea, Maytenus arbutifolia, 4.8. Regeneration Status of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest. Osyris quadripartita, Acacia abyssinica, Dodonaea angustifo- A total of 1245 individuals, 696 seedlings and 549 saplings lia, Calpurnia aurea, Allophylus abyssinicus, Rhus glutinosa, individuals, were counted from all quadrants. The following and Clutia abyssinica, compared to other species of the area species were the largest contributors to the seedling and (Table 4). sapling counts: Becium grandiofl rum, Maytenus Juniperus procera, and Dodonaea angustifolia. In general the distribu- 4.6.DiameterClass of WoodySpecies. The general pattern of tion of seedlings as a whole is greater than that of saplings DBH class distribution of Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest and mature trees, and that of saplings is less than mature 6 International Journal of Forestry Research Table 5: List of woody species collected from Yemrehane Kirstos Church Natural Forest. No Local name Scientific name Family Habitat 1YehabeshaTid Juniperus procera L. Cupressaceae Tree and Shrub 2 Weyira Olea europaea Oleaceae Tree and Shrub Acacia 3 Tikurgirar Fabaceae Tree and Shrub abyssinica Hochst. ex Benth. 4 Emibis Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radlkofer Sapindaceae Tree and Shrub 5Digta Calpurnia aurea (Ait.) Benth. Fabaceae Tree and Shrub 6Atat Maytenus arbutifolia. (A. Rich.) Wilczek. Celastraceae Tree and Shrub 7Fiyelefji Clutia lanceolata Forssk. Euphorbiaceae Shrub 8Kitkita Dodonaea angustifolia L.f. Sapindaceae Shrub 9Wanza Cordia africana Lam. Boraginaceae Tree Becium grandiofl rum (Lam.) 10 Yedegamentese Lamiaceae Shrub Pic.Serm. 11 Talo Rhus glutinosa A. Rich. Anacardiaceae Tree and Shrub Lippia adoensis Hochst. 12 Keskese Verbenaceae Shrub ex Walp. 13 Emibacho Rumex nervosus Vahl. Polygonaceae Shrub 14 Yewushaawut Solanum anguivi Lam. Solanaceae Shrub Prunus africana (Hook. f.) 15 Tikurenchet Rosaceae Shrub and Tree Kalkm. Nuxia congesta R. Br. Ex 16 Asikuar Loganiaceae Tree Fresen. 17 Keret Osyris quadripartita Dec. Santalaceae Tree and Shrub 18 Amfar Buddleja polystachya Fresen. Loganiaceae 19 Wulikfa Dombeya torrida (J. F. Gmel.) P. Bamps Sterculiaceae Tree and Shrub 20 Beles Ficus carica L. Moraceae Tree Dovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) 21 Semaytero Flacourtiaceae Tree Warb. Galinierasaxifraga (Hochst.) 22 Yetotakula Rubiaceae Tree Bridson. 23 Duaduate Clutia abyssinicaJaub. and Spach. Fabaceae Shrub 24 Kechem myrsineafricana L Myrsinaceae Shrub 25 Shinet MyricasalicifoliaA.Rich. Myricaceae Tree and Shrub 26 Kega Rosa abyssinica Lindley Rosaceae Tree and Shrub Pentasschimperiana (A.Rich.) 27 Weyinagift Rubiaceae Shrub Vatke 28 Asita Erica arboreaL. Ericaceae Tree and Shrub 29 Kushele EchinopspappiiChiov. Asteraceae Shrub 30 Azamir Bersama abyssinicaFresen. Melianthaceae Shrub 31 Bisana Croton macrostachyusDel. Euphorbiaceae Tree 32 Agam Carissa spinarum L. Apocynaceae Shrub 33 Gesho Rhamnusprinoides L’Herit. Rhamnaceae Shrub 34 Yeferenjitid Cupressuslusitanica Miller Cupressaceae Tree and Shrub 35 Merez Acokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Schweinf. Apocynaceae Shrub 36 Yedegaamija Hypericum revolutumVahl Guttiferae Shrub 37 Tunjit Otostegiatomentosa A. Rich. Lamiaceae Shrub Debregeasia saeneb (Forssk.) 38 Derofes Urticacea Shrub Hepper and Wood Hibiscus 39 Ticha chenger Malvaceae Shrub crassinerviusHochst. ex A. Rich. International Journal of Forestry Research 7 DBH class VS Density 6. Recommendation 46.32 The Yemrehane Kirstos Church Forest is currently being 43.38 41.91 40.44 36.76 exploited by the local people.This calls for the need of serious 30.88 26.48 attention for conservation and management of this forest. 21.32 19.12 Hence the following recommendations are made to meet 10 13.97 these objectives: 12 3 4 56789 10 (i) Subsequent ecological studies are vital concerning DBH class (cm) species composition, diversity, and distribution of possible plant communities with respect to other Figure 2: Cumulative diameter class frequency distribution of selected tree species DBH class: 1 = 2.5–5cm; 2 = 5.1–10cm; 3 = environmental factors. 10.1–15cm; 4 = 15.1–20cm; 5 = 20.1–25cm; 6 = 25.1–30cm; 7 = (ii) Raising awareness among local communities of the 30.1–35cm; 8 = 35.1–40cm; 9 = 40.1–45cm; 10> 45cm. value of forest resources and ecological consequences of deforestation. (iii) Creating mechanisms such as participatory forest Height class VS Density management by which human impacts can be min- imized, through discussion and consultation with the 73.53 58.82 local communities. 38.24 37.50 (iv) Basedonthefinding,the foresthastobemanaged for 31.62 biological diversities found in the area and for carbon sequestration. (v) eTh present study was limited to diversity, structure of Height class (m) woody species, and regeneration status; thus, further Figure 3: Cumulative height class frequency distribution of woody studies on soil seed bank, seed physiology, herbaceous species: class 1 includes< 5m;2=5–10m;3=10–15m;4=15–20m; plants, and land use management system in the area and class 5> =20 m). are needed. Conflicts of Interest trees. This ratio indicates that the number of seedlings and eTh authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. saplings being regenerated in the forest is about more than two times the mature trees of the forest. 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International Journal of Forestry Research – Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Published: Jun 13, 2018
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