Woody Plant Species Composition, Population Structure and Carbon Sequestration Potential of the A. senegal (L.) Willd Woodland Along a Distance Gradient in North-Western Tigray, Ethiopia

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In Ethiopia, dry land vegetation including the fairly intact lowland and western escarpment woodlands occupy the largest vegetation resource of the country. These forests play a central role in environmental regulation and socio-economic assets, yet they received less scientific attention than the moist forests. This study evaluated the woody plant species composition, population structure and carbon sequestration potential of the A. senegal woodland across three distance gradients from the settlements. A total of 45 sample quadrants were laid along a systematically established nine parallel transect lines to collect vegetation and soil data across distance gradients from settlement. Mature tree dry biomass with DBH>2.5 cm was estimated using allometric equations. A total of 41 woody plant species that belong to 20 families were recorded and A. senegal was the dominant species with 56.4 IVI value. Woody plant species diversity, density and richness were significantly higher in the distant plots compared to the nearest plots to settlement (p<0.05). The cumulative DBH class distribution of all individuals had showed an interrupted inverted J-shape population pattern. There were 19 species without seedlings, 15 species without saplings and 14 species without both seedlings and saplings. A significant above ground carbon (5.3 to 12.7 ton ha-1), root carbon (1.6 to 3.6 ton ha-1), soil organic carbon (35.6 to 44.5 ton ha-1), total carbon stock (42.5 to 60.7 ton ha-1) and total carbon dioxide equivalent (157.7 to 222.8 ton ha-1) was observed consistently with an increasing of distance from settlement (p<0.05). Distance from settlement had significant and positive correlation with species diversity and carbon stock at 0.64⁎⁎ and 0.78⁎⁎. Disturbance intensity may directly influence the variation of species composition, richness and density along the A. senegal woodland. The sustainability of the A. senegal woodland needs urgent protection, conservation and restoration.
Authors: Birhane, E.; Gebreslassie, H.; Giday, K.; Teweldebirhan, S.; Hadgu, K.M.
Subjects: regeneration, carbon sinks, biomass, vegetation, plant species, woodlands
Publication type: Journal Article, Non-ISI, Publication
Year: 2020
ISSN: 2288-9744

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