Floristic Composition and Structure of Yegof Mountain Forest, South Wollo, Ethiopia
In this study, Floristic composition, diversity, population structure and regeneration status of woody plant species of Yegof Forest in South Wollo Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia were analyzed. Data were collected from 72 quadrants, each of which was 20 m × 20 m area. Sorensen‟s similarity coefficient was used to detect similarities and differences among different forests of Ethiopia. Shannon -Wiener diversity index was applied to quantify species diversity and richness. A total of 123 vascular plant species, representing 109 genera and 63 families were recorded. One hundred and twelve of the species collected from sample plots were used for floristic and structural analysis. The rest 11 were collected out of the sample plots but from the same forest and were used to describe the complete floristic list. Out of the total plant species which have been included in the preliminary list assessed for IUCN Red data List, 9 were found to be endemic to Ethiopia. The family Fabaceae had the highest number of species (8) followed by Asteraceae (7 species), Poaceae (6 species), Lamiaceae and Solanaceae (5 species each). The five most abundant woody plant species in the forest were Dodonaea angustifolia, Myrsine africana, Olea europaea subsp cuspidata, Juniperus procera and Erica arborea. In the forest, the overall Shannon-Wiener diversity was 3.73 and evenness of woody species was 0.79, indicating that the diversity and evenness of woody species in the forest is relatively high. Woody species density for mature individuals was 1685 stems ha-1, density of saplings was 1800 stems ha-1 and the density of seedlings was 2089 stems ha-1. Density decreased with increasing tree height and DBH classes. The basal area of the forest was 25.4 m2/ha. We prioritized tree species for conservation using criteria such as species population structure, important value index and regeneration status. The population structure in the forest revealed that there is a need for conservation priority of woody plant with poor regeneration status. Based on the result of the study, research on the soil seed bank, population dynamics and ethno botany are recommended.
Keywords: Floristic composition, Endemic species, IUCN Red list Phytogeographical Comparison, Population Structure, Yegof Forest