Floristic composition and community analysis of Menagesha Amba Mariam Forest (Egdu Forest) in Central Shewa, Ethiopia
AbstractThis study was conducted in Menagesha Amba Mariam Forest (Egdu), a dry evergreen afro-montane forest in central highlands of Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to determine floristic composition, community types and phytogeographical similarity of the forest. Sixty-nine sample plots (20 x 20 m) were laid following altitudinal gradient and each qaudrat was established at a 125 m altitudinal drop. Herbaceous species were collected from five (1 x 1 m) sub-plots laid at four corners and a centre of each quadrat. All plant species found in each plot were recorded, collected, pressed and identified using Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Vegetation classification was done using PC-ORD, Version 4.20 software programme. A total of 219 species belonging to 182 genera and 76 families were recorded (Appendix 1). Asteraceae was the most dominant family with 36 species and 29 genera. Poaceae was the second dominant family with 21 species and 17 genera followed by Fabaceae (17 species) and Lamiaceae (16 species). Among the identified plant species 15 are endemic to Ethiopia. Five community types were identified and each community was named after two dominant tree and/or shrub species. An excessive and destructive exploitation of resources is the greatest threat to the forest. Menagesha Amba Mariam Forest has the highest species similarity with the forest of Chilimo (41%) followed by Menagesha-Suba (40%) and the least resemblance to Dindin forest. Menagesha Amba Mariam Forest needs an immediate attention as the degree of anthropogenic impact is quite high.
Keywords/phrases: Dry evergreen afro-montane forest, Phytogeography, Plant community
Ethiop. J. Biol. Sci., 10(2): 111-136, 2011