Woody plant species diversity and composition in and around Debre Libanos church forests of North Shoa Zone of Oromiya, Ethiopia

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Hingabu Hordofa Koricho
  • Girma Shumi
  • Tikabo Gebreyesus
  • Shaoxian Song
  • Fekadu Fufa

Dry afromontane forests are among the most poorly managed and endangered ecosystems. Therefore, we assessed the composition, diversity, and conservation status of woody plant species of the Debre Libanos church forests and surrounding forest lands in Oromiya Regional National State, central Ethiopia in 62 nested circular sample plots spaced 200 m apart along two transect lines. Large circular plots 314 m2 were used to sample trees with DBH of at least 10 cm, and subplots of 28.26 m2 were laid in each main plot were used to assess saplings and shrubs; a small subplot of 3.14 m2 was used to assess seedlings. In total, 70 woody plant species belonging to 62 genera and 43 families were recorded. Of these, 59, 28 and 32 were in the church, government and private forest types, respectively. The most dominant families were Fabaceae and Verbenaceae, each represented by five species. In the forests considered, trees accounted for 61%, and shrubs with diameter at breast height (DBH) of 1–10 cm accounted for ca. 33%. Among growth forms of woody species, shrubs and seedlings, followed by trees constituted much of the density of woody species in all the three ownership types of forests. The church forest had the most species (59) and highest Shannon (3.12) and Simpson (0.92) species diversity indices, and the government and private forests had a nearly similar total number of species and Shannon and Simpson species diversity indices. Most of the species with higher importance value indices (IVI) were indigenous in origin within the church forest (Juniperus procera = 82), government forest (J. procera = 66) and private forest (Acacia abyssinica = 84). The composition, diversity, and population structure of woody species in the church forest were significantly higher than in the other forest lands. However, interventions of the government and private sectors to conserve forest systems in the areas, particularly the government-owned forest and specific species such as Olea europaea need active enrichment plantings due to their limited natural regeneration. Without improved management interventions, livelihood income diversification and ecosystem services obtained from the forest will not be sustainable.

ZeitschriftJournal of Forestry Research
Seiten (von - bis)1929-1939
Anzahl der Seiten11
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2021

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF) for providing research funds through the Volkswagen Foundation funded IFLEA project.

Funding Information:
Project Funding: This work was supported financially by the Fundamental Research Funds of Environment and Coffee Forest Forum.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Northeast Forestry University.