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Computational Ecology and Software, 2024, 14(2): 148-167
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Article

Woody species diversity, composition, and regeneration status across vegetation types and elevation gradients in Jorgo-Wato Natural Forest, West Wollega Zone, Ethiopia

Takele W. Hika1, Yohannes Sh. Daka2, Sintayehu Workeneh3, Feleke Woldeyes4
1Department of Forestry, Wollega University, Gimbi, Ethiopia
2Department of Forestry, Dambi Dollo University, Dambi Dollo, Ethiopia
3Africa Centre of Excellence in Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (ACE Climate SABC) of Haramaya University, Ethiopia
4Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI), Ethiopia

Received 26 January 2024;Accepted 5 March 2024;Published online 10 March 2024;Published 1 June 2024
IAEES

Abstract
The present study was conducted to assess woody species diversity, composition and natural regeneration status of Jorgo Wato Natural Forest across different vegetation types and altitudinal gradients. A forest was stratified into three vegetation categories including Tree grass land (TGL), High forest (HF) and Dense wood land (DWL). The altitudinal gradients in each vegetation type were classified in to three ranges from the bottom to the top of the forest. A three parallel transect lines were laid down vertically in each vegetation type along altitudinal gradients. A total of 36 nested quadrats having 20 m x 20 m and 1 m x 1 m sub-plots were laid down following altitudinal gradients along the transect lines to collect vegetation data, parameters like diameter at breast height (DBH) and tree height (H) and counting seedlings. The finding of the present study identified a total of 39 woody species that belong to 35 genera and 30 families in the forest. The total number of woody species recorded from the three vegetation types (TGL, HF and DWL) was found to be 26, 26 and 21 in the respective order. The overall mean stem density/ha, species richness/plot, Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index (H') and evenness (J) were 1087.5 plants/ha, 8.09, 1.715 and 0.81, respectively.The lower diversity index value of woody species (1.715), show that the woody species diversity among vegetation types was not significantly different. The species richness, Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index and evenness significantly varied (p<0.05) along elevation gradient but statistically did not show significant different (p>0.05) among vegetation type. Therefore, the best way and design to protect forest regarding natural vegetation categories need to be applied to enhance and expand the benefits of ecosystem services, mainly the potential of carbon storage in climate change mitigation.

Keywords altitudinal gradients;natural regeneration;vegetation;woody species diversity.



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