An Ecological Study of the Lowland Vegetation of Key Afer-Shala Luqa and Southwest of Lake Chamo, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Studies in the vegetation of Key Afer-Shala Luqa ailG SouthWest of take Chaino Southern Ethiopia were conducted from Nov. 21, 1996 to February 27, 1997. The data on aboveground herbaceous phytomass was collected using 1m2 quadrat from 13 selected sites. To determine the different plant communities, data from 71 quadrats (400 m2) was collected following a 1-9 modified Braun Blanquet scale (van der Maarel, 1979). The environmental data collected consists of soil, altitude, slope and aspect. The average aboveground herbaceous phytomass ranged between 35.9 gm-2 in Shala plain to 1016.8 gm-2 in Southwest of Lake Chamo. Multivariate methods were employed to summarise the vegetation data. Seven community types and an outliers were identified. Statistical test (post-hoc comparison of means) among the community types showed significant variation in altitude indicating that altitude is the most important factor. Analysis of diversity among community types showed that the Hyparrhenia jilipendula- Combretl/Ill moUe dominated community is richer in species than others, while the Commiplwra cyclophylla-Actilliopteris radiata-Sallsevieria ehrenbergii dominated community is the least species rich community. The low aboveground herbaceous phytomass in sites like Shala might be attributed to ecological incompatibility with prevailing stocking rate. To ameliorate the interrelated causes of resource degradation, destocking should be taken into consideration.



Botnical Science