Biological Assessment and Farmers’ Perception on Socioeconomic Impact of Parthenium Hysterophorus on Native Biodiversity in Kobo, Amhara Region

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Addis Ababa University


Parthenium hysterophorus is an invasive alien species that is believed to have been introduced to Ethiopia during the1970s along with the grain aid donated by USA, and for the same reason in the 1980’s in the study area. In this study the biological and socio-economic impact of P. hysterophorus were assessed in Kobo (North Wello, Ethiopia) to develop up-to-date information for future prevention and control mechanisms. The biological impacts of P. hysterophorus were investigated using cover, comparison and soil analysis techniques. The socio-economic impacts due to P. hysterophorus was studied by interviewing a total of 114 sample farmers that were selected randomly from the list of farmers in the study area, that is 38 farmers from each stratum (none, medium and high infestation area). Results showed that from all the sample species P. hysterophorus was found the most abundant in grazing land. On the contrary, the majority of the other species account for less than 5% of relative abundance. According to Partial Redundancy Analysis (RDA) 59.8% of the variation in species data was observed in the first four PCA axes and 11.5% of the variation with the first two axes. Biplot diagram indicates that P. hysterophorus weed is negatively correlated with the majority of species. According to the patch test the abundance of the sample species is statistically significant at P=0.01 between none and high infested area of P. hysterophorus whereas the difference between the height of the species is insignificant at P=0.05. The percentage of sand, clay and silt is statistically significant at P=0.01, P=0.01 and at P= 0.05, respectively, and the pH and moisture content of the sample soil is statistically significant at P=0.05 and insignificant at P= 0.05 value, respectively. The average number of nematodes in none, medium and high infested field of P. hysterophorus were statistically significant at P=0.05.Field survey results showed that all the sample farmers were aware of P. hysterophorus, its ways of introduction into their locality, the agents facilitating its dissemination and places where P. hysterophorus is densely populated. In the study areas, more than 90% of the respondents noticed that P. hysterophorus was the most abundant and threat to the loss of biodiversity. Accordingly, the grass species Cleome gynandra, Amaranthus graecizans, Cucumis dipsaceus, Bidens pilosa, Launaea intybacca, Enteropogon macrostachyus, Eragrostis cilianensis, Euphorbia indice and Boerhavia coccinea are endangered by P. hysterophorus. P. hysterophorus weed can cause serious loss on the production and productivity of crops, human health and biodiversity. Hence it has a significant effect on the economic development of the study area. Integration of different control methods are therefore needed to prevent and control the danger of P. hysterophorus.