Resource Details

Tree regeneration in church forests of Ethiopia: effects of microsites and management

Literature: Journal Articles

Wassie, A., Sterck, F.J., Teketay, D. and Bongers, F. 2009, "Tree regeneration in church forests of Ethiopia: effects of microsites and management", Biotropica, vol. 41, nos. 1, pp.110-119.

Contact Info

Frank Sterck,


  • Wageningen University, Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen, The Netherlands


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Species Info

  • Juniperus procera
  • Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata
  • Ekebergia capensis
  • Prunus africana
  • Euphorbia abyssinica
  • Maytenus arbutifolia
  • Teclea nobilis
  • Carissa edulis
  • Calpurnia aurea


  • This study evaluates how trees regenerate in remnant forests from along open fields, forest edge to closed sites and canopy gaps inside in an afromontane church forest in northern Ethiopia.
  • Also investigated the effects of these different management interventions: seed sowing, litter removal, and weeding on the regeneration success of along this gradient and using enclosures.
  • Regeneration of 4 tree species, J. procera, E. capensis Sparrm, P. africana  Kalkm, and O. europaea L. subsp. cuspidata  Cifferri were studied by monitoringseed germination, seedling survival, and growth.
  • The results suggest how resource gradient might affect the regeneration of 4 major tree species in church forests. Within the forest local canopy openings facilitate germination (Ekebergia), seedling growth (all species except Olea) or survival (Ekebergia and Olea) implying that all species benefit from local high light conditions in the forest.
  • Outside the forest, germination (all species) and growth rates (Juniperus and Olea) were lower in the open field, most likely due to water stress in the dry season.
  •  Seedling survival was higher in gaps than under closed canopy. This was significant for Ekebergia and Olea, the difference started around the 5th month after the start of the experiment coinciding with the beginning of the dry season.
  • The authors conclude except for Olea, all the species were favored within local canopy openings high light conditions and that all species wither in the open field. The combined effect of seed sowing and cultivation enhanced seed germination significantly for all species.

Geographical Region

  • East Africa
  • Country

  • Ethiopia
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