Resource Details

Diversity of naturally-regenerated native woody species in forest plantations in the Ethiopian highlands

Literature: Journal Articles

Yirdaw, E. 2001, "Diversity of naturally-regenerated native woody species in forest plantations in the Ethiopian highlands", New Forests, vol. 22, pp. 159-177.

Contact Info

Eshetu Yirdaw,


  • University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology/ Tropical Silviculture Unit.


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Species Info

  • Aningeria adolfi-friedericii
  • Celtis africana
  • Juniperus procera 
  • Cupressus lusitanica (Exotic)
  • Grevillea robusta (Exotic)
  • Pinus patula (Exotic)


  • This paper examines woody species diversity and understory vegetation of naturally regenerated native tree and shrub species in 4-plantation forests and adjacent natural forests in Wono Genet in Ethiopia.
  • Understory woody species richness, abundance and herbaceous ground cover were recorded in plantations of Pinus patula, Cupressus lusitanica, Grevillea robusta and Juniperus procera
  • The results showed 53 naturally regenerated woody species, the Rubiaceae family was the most common (in terms of number of species), while the Ulmaceae family, consisting of only one species (Celtis africana) had the highest abundance, of 54%. Also, 12 woody species present in the adjacent natural forests were absent in the plantations. This is attributed to the large seeds that are more likely to be transported over shorterdistances as compared to smaller seeds.
  • Plantations of C. lusitanica had the lowest highest seedling abundance and richness, although not significant and the lowest evenness compared to the other plantations. Understory ground cover differed amongst plantations, with G. robusta having about 4 times the ground cover percentage of C. lusitanica. The reason was the denser crowns of C. lusitanica and J. procera casting shade on the understory.
  • The density of the naturally regenerated woody species in plantations was over three times the usual planting density in Ethiopia (ca. 2500 trees ha1). This indicates the high potential of forest plantations for restoring biodiversity on degraded lands.
  • The management implications are that some climax species such as Aningeria adolfi-friedericii with large recalcitrant species failed to reestablish in plantation understory. Therefore, in order to reestablish the diverse and economically valuable natural forest, complementary measures such as enrichment planting of the large-seeded primary species may be promoted.

Geographical Region

  • East Africa
  • Country

  • Ethiopia
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