An Assessment of the Diversity of Indigenous Forage Plant Species of the Dry Season in Dry Lands of North Western Ethiopia: Implication for Their Conservation and Sustainable Use

Dereje Mosissa


This study was done to assess the diversity of indigenous forage plants of the dry season in Combretum-Terminalia woodlands of Guba District, North West of Ethiopia. A total of 69 species of plants were identified and of which all are consumed as a feed resource by the local animal breeds during dry season. The diversity (H) values of the forage plant species ranged between 0.65 to 1.67 across the plots sampled. The similarities (J) between the plots in terms of species composition of all forage species were 0.56 and 0.94. The evenness (E) values of all forage species were in between 0.78 and 0.86 across the sampled plots. The densities of all forage species, including seedlings, were 1216 stems ha-1. In the study area Combretum colinum, Lonchocarpus laxiflorus, Terminalia laxiflora, Acacia polycantha and Ziziphus mucronata were the five relatively abundant forage species. The Importance Value Index (IVI) values of all the forage species ranged between 0.31 (Strychnos innocua) and 81.67 (Combretum colinum). Particularly local goat breeds of the study area were known to feed on various plant resources than other breeds. Moreover, Bigariya local cattle breeds were also know to feed on various similar plant resources hence adapted to harsh environmental condition known in western Ethiopia. Pounded barks of Cordia Africana and roots of Securidaca longepedankulata is used in treatment of diarrhoea and common cold cases of goats. Moreover the sheath of Hyphenea thebiaca is used to treat the eye disease of Goats, sheep and cattle.

Keywords: Bigariya cattle, density, diversity, evenness, frequency, Importance Value Index

DOI: 10.7176/JRDM/72-04

Publication date: January 31st 2021

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