A Floristic Composition and Structural Analysis of Denkoro Forest, South Wello

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Addis Ababa University


The floristic composition and structure of Denkoro forest between altitudes 2300 to 3400 m were described. Sample plots of 25 m X 25 m were taken for woody species and 1 m X 1 m for herbaceous species. A total of 95 sample plots were analyzed. The cover-abundance values for trees, shrubs and herbs within the sample plots were estimated. All trees and shrubs with diameter at breast height (DBH), i.e. 1.3 m from the ground and ³ 2 cm DBH were measured for height and diameter. A total of 174 species of vascular plants representing 66 families were recorded. 109 of the species collected from sample plots were used for floristic and structural analysis. The rest 64 were collected out of sample plots but from the forest and used to describe the complete floristic list. Polythetic divisive procedure was followed to classify the vegetation data Six clusters were recognized and designated as local plant community types. Each type was given names after one or two dominating and/or characteristic species. The community types are: Erica arborea - Hypericum revolutum, Myrsine melanophloeos - Dombeya torrida, Myrsine africana – Maesa lanceolata – Prunus africana, Olinia rochetiana – Olea europaea, Olinia rochetiana – Allophylus abyssinicus – Apodytes dimidiata and Maytenus gracilipes – Teclea nobilis. The structural analysis of the forest showed that there was a high density of small sized trees. This was ensured by the comparison of trees based on DBH and height classes. The density of trees > 10 cm DBH was almost two times more than that of DBH >20 cm. There was also high proportion (> 65%) of woody individuals in the low height classes (i.e. < 12 m), which was similar to the trend in DBH measurements. Analysis of species population structure showed five patterns, which almost represented species dynamics in the forest. The floristic and structural analysis; and comparison of Denkoro forest with similar Afromontane forests of Ethiopia viii indicated that the forest is similar to the montane forests of the Central Plateau of Shewa(Tamrat, 1993). .