Floristic Composition and Structure of Zerat Forest, Central Ethiopia

  • Dagne Abebe Mizan Tepi University, Mizan Town, Ethiopia
  • Tamru D.Temam Tamru D.Temam, Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopiay
Keywords: Afromontane forest, Zerat Forest, Rarefaction, Sorensen’s similarity coefficient, Endemic species, anthropogenic disturbance.

Abstract

This  study  was  conducted  in  Zerat  Afromontane  Forest  in  North Showa  Zone of Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to investigate floristic composition and structure of the forest as well as to explore factors accounting for loss of forest in the study area.  Systematic sampling was used to collect vegetation data from 66 sample plots of size 20 x 20 m (400m2). In-depth interviews were conducted with farmers living in close vicinity to the forest to identify challenges and threats on the forest.  R-statistical package, Estimate-S and Microsoft Excel were used to analyze the data.  Vegetation classification was performed using R-statistical package. Rarefaction was applied to compare the species richness of the plant communities in the study area.  Sorensen’s similarity coefficient was used to detect similarities among the plant communities. A total of 156 plants belonging to 133 genera and 67 families were identified.  Asteraceae is the most dominant family followed by Fabaceae and Lamiaceae. It was noted that 17 of the plants encountered in the study area are endemic to Ethiopia. Three plant communities were identified in the study area: Juniperus procera Community Type, Senecio gigas-Scorpiurus muricatus Community Type, and Maytenus obscura- Chenopodium album Community Type. Anthropogenic distrubances such as grazing by domestic animals, fuel wood and timber extraction are the main threats to the forest in the study area. Conservation measures such as awareness creation, provision of alternative energy sources and minimizing illegal timber production need to be practiced for sustainable use of the forest. 

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Published
2016-05-01
Section
Articles