Resource Details

Restoration of Dry Afromontane forest using pioneer shrubs as nurse-plants for Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata

Literature: Journal Articles

Aerts, R., Negussie, A., Maes, W., November, E., Hermy, M. & Muys, B. 2007, "Restoration of Dry Afromontane forest using pioneer shrubs as nurse-plants for Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 15, nos. 1, pp. 129-138.

Contact Info

Bart Muys, bart.muys@biw.kuleuven.be

Affiliations

  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, Celestijnenlaan, Leuven, Belgium

Link(s)

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Species Info

  • Acacia etbaica
  • Euclea racemosa
  • Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata

Description

  • This study analyses the effect of pioneer shrub cover on early survival of planted Olea seedlings, more specifically during the first dry winter, which is most often the most critical period for the establishment of the species in semi-arid conditions in northern Ethiopia.
  • The authors investigate the following hypotheses of how the combined effect of shade and moisture conservation under pioneer shrub cover enhances survival of planted seedlings compared to plating in bare soil patches.
  • Seedlings of O. europaea were planted during the spring and summer rains in 2003 in three different microhabitats (bare soil, seedlings planted under the canopy of E. racemosa and Acacia planted under the canopy of A. etbaica) in three sites and monitored until the end of the inter drought in February 2004 to test the effect of shrubs on early seedling survival. For each sampled seedling, survival was recorded every 2 weeks for 6 months and the cause of mortality recorded based on observations of stem and leaves. In addition the effects of shading was monitored.
  • The results of the three experiments showed that the survival of planted Olea seedlings was positively correlated to shrub cover. This suggests that the combined effect of shade and moisture conservation under pioneer shrub cover enhances survival of planted seedlings compared to planted seedlings on bare soil patches. On the other hand in the absence of water stress, seedlings do survive bare soil patches.
  • In conclusion Olea seedling survival can be enhanced by preexisting early-successonal shrubs, especially the evergreen shrub Euclea racemosa that serve as nurse plants, probably through limiting drought stress. In addition, excluding livestock was an essential requirement to ensuring seedling survival. They recommend planting during the summer rains.

Geographical Region

  • East Africa
  • Country

  • Ethiopia
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