The Effect of Coffee Expansion and its Management on Regeneration of Natural Forest in Gidame Woreda, West Ethiopia
The regeneration of natural forest is essential for maintaining forest ecosystem functioning, which is globally threatened by natural and human disturbance. Deforestation and forest degradation show an alarming high, mainly due to the conversion of natural forest to commercial and cereal crop production. By considering this issue this study was conducted with the aim to assess the effect of coffee expansion on regeneration of the natural forest ecosystem in Gidame woreda. The study site was stratified in two strata: undisturbed natural forest and disturbed coffee forest. A total of 71 nested square sample plot was determined, proportionally allocated (29 for undisturbed and 42 for disturbed/coffee forest) and randomly distributed within each stratum. In both cases, seedlings and saplings were counted, and the DBH of trees with greater than 5 cm DBH were measured. The independent two sampled t-test was performed in order to determine whether there was a significant difference between forest classes’ natural regeneration status by using the Least Significant Difference (LSD) of mean at p<0.05. The results showed that regeneration of undisturbed natural forest was good as the present in seedlings density greater than saplings greater than mature trees. The enumerated mean densities of seedlings, saplings, and mature trees in undisturbed natural forest were 4583 ± 67 plants/ha, 3287 ± 35 plants/ha and 740 ± 14 stems/ha respectively.
In the disturbed coffee forest, the density of seedlings less than saplings less than mature plants showed poor regeneration due to coffee management activities in natural forest. The mean densities of seedlings, saplings, and mature trees in disturbed coffee forest were 237 ± 7.3 plants/ha, 314 ± 73 plants/ha and 344 ± 15 stems/ha respectively. The seedlings, saplings and mature tree species densities in the disturbed coffee forest were decreased by 94.83%, 90.45%, and 53.51% respectively as compared to undisturbed natural forest. Therefore, maintaining the regeneration potential of this natural forest ecosystem should be required through the implementation of different conservation mechanisms.Yadesa Akena*
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