Assessment of tree species diversity patterns and socioeconomic uses on agricultural landscapes a case of Western Oromia, Ethiopia

Assessment of tree species diversity patterns and socioeconomic uses on agricultural landscapes a case of Western Oromia, Ethiopia

Abstract: 

Deforestation is one of the prominent problems in developing countries. Forest destruction, land degradation and loss of biodiversity are major environmental problems in Ethiopia. A study was conducted to assess study was to characterize on-farm tree diversity, their patterns and socioeconomic uses in the study area. Four sites representing drier and moist agroecology in the sub-humid agroecology were selected. A total of 100 households, 25 from each sites, were randomly selected and assess tree and shrub species diversity and understand their socioeconomic importance. Data on tree species diversity in the homestead, crop fields and grazing/pasture land use system were collected from 100, 18 and 11 households, respectively. The result showed that a total of 82 tree species were recorded from crop fields, homegardens and grazing/pasture land use system in the study sites. The total number of tree species in the homegardens, crop fields and grazing land was 67, 52 and 29 respectively. The Shannon diversity index in the entire land use system varied from 2.11 at Uke Badiya to 2.28 at Ongobo Bakanisa, and species evenness of the entire land use system varied from 0.565 at Oda Haro to 0.593 at Ongobo Bakanisa. The Shannon diversity index in the homestead land use system varied from 1.80 at Wayu Kumba to 2.13 at Oda Haro, and species evenness of the homestead land use system varied from 0.519 at Wayu Kumba to 0.596 at Oda Haro. The Shannon diversity index in the crop fields use system varied from 1.06 at at Oda Haro to 2.44 at Ongobo Bakanisa, and species evenness of the crop fields land use system varied from 0.450 at Wayu Kumba to 0.879 at Ongobo Bakanisa. The Shannon diversity index in the grazing land use system varied from 1.53 at Ongobo Bakanisa to 1.82 at Oda Haro, and species evenness of the grazing land use system varied from 0.487 at Ongobo Bakanisa to 0.709 at Oda Haro. The density of woody species recoreded in entire land use system varied from 133 at Oda Haro to 476 at Wayu Kumba. Structurally, Eucalyptus camaldulensis was the most important tree species among the common species to the three land use system in the study sites. Homestead size area influenced the species diversity, and coversly wealth status did not influence it. From the total surveyed of tree species abundance in the study sites 85.6% estabilished through plantation and 18.4% established through natural regenerated (retention). The purposes of tree retaining/planting were 38% for live fence, 30% for firewood, 13% for income, 13% for fodder, 4% for timber and 2% for fruit production. Generally, the study showed that agricultural landscapes harbour high diversity of trees and shrubs, to which farmers attach various values to the different utilities acrued from the system. (2014-09-30)