Dynamics of Land Use and Land Cover Change and Vegetation Composition of Guassa Community Conservation Area, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


This study was conducted in Guassa Community Conservation Area, in North Shewa Zone, Amhara regional state, Ethiopia. The Guassa Community Conservation area is very important for the livelihoods of the local communities and the area is managed through local participation. The objectives of the study was to determine the rate of LULCC in the study area, to identify the causes of LULCC in the study area, to document the plant species of GCCA and to identify the species composition differences between plantation and natural vegetation. The LULCC data was gathered by using three LANDSAT satellite images starting from period of 1986, 2003 and 2015. All the available images were classified into different land cover types by applying a maximum likelihood algorithm under supervised classification method and with the support of ArcGIS v.10.1 software. The vegetation data was collected from 70 sample plots (35 from natural vegetation and 35 from plantation site). Each sample had quadrat size of 10m x 10m for trees and shrubs, five quadrats (2m x 2m), one at each corners and one at center for herbaceous species was laid out along a transect at an interval of 200 m between each large quadrat. The LULC maps of the GCCA for three referenced years and statistical summaries of the different LULC types were mapped. The study identified a total of 88 plant species which belongs to 64 genera and 33 plant families. Of the 33 plant families, Asteraceae had the highest number of species (31), the second was Poaceae with nine species. The study was concluded by mapping the LULC changes and documenting a total of 88 plant species with 18 endemic plants to Ethiopia. Finally, developing good mechanism to remove invasive species (Helichrysum species) and farther study on market value chain of Festuca species (economically valuable grass) are recommended. Keywords: Guassa Conserved Area; Land Use and Land Cover; natural vegetation; plantation forest; vegetation composition



Guassa Conserved Area, Land Use and Land Cover, Natural vegetation, Plantation forest, Vegetation composition