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Awas T.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation | Asfaw Z.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Nordal I.,University of Oslo | Demissew S.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology
Biodiversity | Year: 2010

This paper studies the use and management of local botanical resources by the Berta and Gumuz people of western Ethiopia. The study focused on plants that are important in their lives, including those that grow in natural habitats and those maintained in fields and cultivated home gardens. Interviews were conducted along with informal discussions with the purpose of collecting ethnobotanical information on useful plants. The interviews included 125 informants; most of whom were from farming families. Information was provided on 185 plant species that serve as sources of food, medicine and other products essential for local livelihoods The study showed that the Berta and Gumuz people rely on an assortment of plants, 30% through cultivation and 70% through direct collection from wild stands. The ethnobotanical knowledge of the people was equated with the age and educational level of the informants. Areas of conservation concern are over-harvesting of wild plants that give immediate economic returns, change in plant use due to increased dependence on fabricated materials, cultivation of crops in direct response to market needs and domestication of new plants. Recommendations are made for intervention through in-situ and ex-situ conservation. The traditional conservation options that have ensured the maintenance of the plant diversity and the indigenous knowledge base to date must be encouraged and enhanced through application of modern approaches to biodiversity conservation. This study attempts to provide baseline information that can be used in conservation planning and sustainable resource development programs in addition to documenting the cultural heritage of the people.

Tesfaye G.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation | Tesfaye G.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Teketay D.,University of Botswana | Fetene M.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Beck E.,University of Bayreuth
Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants | Year: 2010

Regeneration of seven indigenous tree species having significant ecological and economic importance was investigated in the Munessa-Shashemene dry Afromontane forest (MSF), southern Ethiopia. Densities and distributions of seedlings, saplings and trees were assessed along gradients of altitude, light and disturbance using quadrat sizes of 10×5 m (for seedlings) and 20×20 m (saplings and trees) following line transects. The number of individuals, frequency and height of the study species were recorded in the quadrats at every 100 m drop in altitude. Seedling densities varied markedly among the species and altitudes. Mean densities (number of individuals ha-1) of seedlings ranged from zero (Polyscias fulva) to 5334 (Prunus africana), and from three (Polyscias fulva) to 102 (Podocarpus falcatus) for trees and saplings. Canonical Correspondence Analysis revealed that seedlings of Celtis africana and Croton macrostachyus were highly favored by disturbance and, hence, were concentrated in canopy gaps within the forest. Based on their population structures, the study species could be categorized into three groups: (1) Species that showed the highest proportion of individuals in the lowest height class and with a gradual decrease towards the upper height classes, which suggests good regeneration; Podocarpus falcatus, C. africana, C. macrostachys and P. africana belonged to this group. (2) Species that showed higher proportions of individuals in the lowest height class and with missing individuals in the subsequent middle height classes, indicative of hampered regeneration; Syzygium guineense and Pouteria adolfi-friederici belonged to this group. (3) Species with no individuals in the lowest and middle height classes but represented by individuals in upper height classes; P. fulva belonged to this group. The species categorized in the last two groups exhibited hampered regeneration, and P. fulva is in the verge of local extermination. High seedling densities (e.g. C. africana and P. africana) and/or adaptive defense mechanisms to herbivory (e.g. P. falcatus and C. macrostachyus) were common attributes of species, which exhibited good regeneration. Regeneration problems were largely attributed to human disturbance, lack of suitable habitat for seed germination or problems associated to seed set (seed predation or abortion). Our study indicated that P. fulva, P. adolfi-friederici and S. guineense require the highest immediate attention for conservation in the MSF. © 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Wale H.A.,Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research | Bekele T.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Dalle G.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2012

We studied woodland vegetation in broad-leaved deciduous woodlands of Metema in northwestern Amhara regional state, Ethiopia to determine plant community types and species distribution patterns and their relationships with environmental variables, including altitude, pH, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity (EC), and moisture. We used a selective approach with a systematic sampling design. A total of 74 quadrats, each 25m × 25m at intervals of 150-200 m were sampled along the established transect lines. For herbaceous vegetation and soil data collection, five subquadrats each 1m × 1m were established at the four corners and the center of each quadrat. Three community types were identified using TWINSPAN analysis. All three community types showed high diversity (Shannon-Weiner index), the highest in community type II at 3. 55. The highest similarity coefficient was 0. 49 (49%) between community types II and III, reflecting 0. 51 (51%) dissimilarity in their species richness. The canonical correspondence ordination diagram revealed that the distribution pattern of community type I was explained by moisture while that of community types III and II was explained by EC and altitude and moisture, respectively. Altitude was the most statistically significant environmental variable, followed by moisture and EC in determining the total variation in species composition and distribution patterns while pH and cation exchange capacity were non significant. In conclusion, we recommend that any intervention should take into account these three discrete community types and their environmental settings to make the intervention more successful. © 2012 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Wale H.A.,Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research | Bekele T.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Dalle G.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2012

We studied woodland vegetation in broad-leaved deciduous woodlands of Metema in northwestern Amhara regional state, Ethiopia Our objective was to describe plant species composition, diversity, regeneration status, and population structure by a selective approach with a systematic sampling design. A total of 74 quadrats (each for 25 m × 25 m, spaced at intervals of 150-200 m) were sampled along established transect lines following the homogeneity of the vegetation. Vegetation data including cover-abundance, height, diameter at breast height (DBH), and numbers of seedlings and saplings of woody species were analyzed using Excel spreadsheet, Shannon Weiner diversity index, and PAST version 1. 62. A total of 87 vascular plant species of 74 genera and 36 families were recorded. The dominant family was Fabaceae represented by 16 (18.39 %) species of 13 genera. Shannon Weiner diversity and evenness were 3.67 and 0.82, respectively, which showed that the area was endowed with rich floral diversity evenly distributed. The vegetation structure, as quantified by cumulative diameter class frequency distribution, plotted as an interrupted inverted-J-shape pattern with a sharp decrease in the 2nd diameter class. This indicated poor vegetation structure. The diameter classes frequency distributions of selected species plotted in four general patterns i. e., interrupted Inverted-J-shape, J-shape, Bell-shape and Irregular-shape. In conclusion, although the area showed high floral diversity and evenness, woody species including Sterculea setigera, Boswellia papyrifera, and Pterocarpus lucens showed lowest recruitment of seedlings and saplings. © 2012 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Solomon A.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation | Solomon A.,University of the Free State | Jacob B.A.,University of the Free State | Jacobus J.O.,University of the Free State | Jacobus J.O.,Lrene Animal Improvement Institute
Archiv fur Tierzucht | Year: 2010

Weight (kg)-age (days) data of 524 Horro sheep of Ethiopia were fitted to a Brody function to estimate parameters of growth curve and their genetic and phenotypic parameters. Genetic and phenotypic relationships were also estimated between growth curve parameters and weight at birth (BW), weaning (WW) six-month (WT6) and yearling (YW). For ewes Pearson correlations were also calculated between growth curve parameters and ewe productivity over first to fourth parities. Least squares means of growth curve parameters A (asymptotic mature weight, kg), B (proportion of mature weight attained after birth) and K (the rate of maturity, kg gain kg-1 body weight) were 37.6, 0.88, and 0.27-10-2, respectively. Heritability estimates were 0.29, 0.18 and 0.14 for A, B, and K, respectively. Genetic correlations between A and B, A and K, and B and K were 0.39,-0.07, and 0.25 respectively. Genetic correlations of A and K with BW, WW, WT6, and YW were 0.27 and -0.13, 0.34 and 0.37, 0.44 and 0.61, and 0.67 and 0.66, respectively. The growth curve parameters have small but positive (r=0.05 to 0.28) relationship with indicators of lifetime productivity. Medium heritability estimates of A and K indicate that progress in improving these traits can be made through selection. WT6 and YW have medium genetic correlations with the growth curve parameters and these may allow the use of these weights as indirect early selection criteria for optimum growth curve. © Leibniz-Institute for Farm Animai Biology.

Mekbib Y.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation | Weibull J.,Regulations
Ethnobotany Research and Applications | Year: 2012

The Ethiopian potato (Plectranthus edulis (Vatke) Agnew, Lamiaceae) is an under-utilized tuber crop. An ethnobotanical study was conducted on the use and management of P. edulis in Sodo Zuria district, south Ethiopia. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to interview 63 farmers in three locations. In all locations, farmers reported a decreasing trend in the number of local varieties maintained on their farms. The socio-economic status of the households was found to be an important factor affecting conservation and use of the crop. Most farmers (81%), who did not have enough land, used seed tubers from other sources. The study showed a significant relationship between tuber source and age of farmers (X2 = 15.81, P<0.05). The study also revealed that older farmers were more knowledgeable than younger ones. Based on farmers' descriptors, a total of six distinct local varieties were recorded. Among the six local varieties, lofuwa, unnuka and chenkuwa were widely grown across the study kebeles. Shortage of cultivable land, long maturation period, displacement by other crops, and shortage of seed tubers were the main causes for declining interest in cultivation.

Kebede M.,P.A. College | Hulten H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Balcha G.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation
International Journal of Botany | Year: 2013

Prunus africana (Hook.f.) Kalkm and Syzygiym guineense (Willd.) DC subsp. guineense are multipurpose indigenous trees to Ethiopia. Reforestation with these species is hindered due to their recalcitrant seeds and a higher seed predation. This study tested the effects of Indole-3-butyric Acid (IBA) and Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) applied at a concentration of 0.0, 0.2 and 0.4% on juvenile leafy stem cuttings of P. africana and S. guineense using non-mist polypropagator. Two leaves with an area of 30-35 cm2 were left on each cutting. The bases of cuttings were dipped in the hormones for 3 seconds and placed into the rooting medium. All the rooted cuttings of the S. guineense and P. africana were potted in polythene bags containing a mixture of sand, forest soil and well decomposed manure. Auxin treatment had no significant effect on the final rooting percentage of both species. The effect of auxin treatment on root number, root and shoot length of the rooted cuttings of P. africana and S. guineense was significant (p<0.01). The establishment test on the rooted cuttings indicated that mortality accounted for only 0-2%. Prospects for vegetative propagation with the juvenile leafy stem cuttings of the above species are good as cuttings were easily rooted. The low technology non-mist polypropagator designed for tropical trees could serve as a tool for propagation of these species for conservation and capture of genetic variation. Further study on donor plant management is required for maintenance of juvenility to harvest more cuttings for plantation purposes. © 2013 Asian Network for Scientific Information.

Balemie K.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge | Year: 2011

Management and uses of farmers' crop varieties were studied in Illu Ababora, Southwest Ethiopia. The study was aimed to document farmers' crop diversity management and uses and to identify factors affecting farmers' decisions related to crop diversity management including varieties that might help mitigate climate change. Semi-structured interviews, group discussions, and field observations were used in gathering data. Sixteen different farmers' varieties were documented. Maize, sorghum, and tef had high varietal diversity. Various factors influencing farmers' diversity management were identified. Adaptability to agro-ecological niches, tolerance to stresses, density, healthiness and aesthetics were found, in combination, to be important parameters used for seed selection or acquisition of particular varieties. The role farmers' varieties and practices in adaptation to climate change impacts and household food security were discussed. The study suggests that supporting and strengthening local innovative farmers' practices, conservation efforts, and crop improvement programs could help farmers adapt to climate change impacts at local level.

Tesfaye B.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Sisay Tessema T.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Tefera G.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2013

A study was conducted to isolate bacterial species/pathogens from the nasal cavity of apparently healthy and pneumonic sheep. Nasal swabs were collected aseptically, transported in tryptose soya broth and incubated for 24 h. Then, each swab was streaked onto chocolate and blood agar for culture. Bacterial species were identified following standard bacteriological procedures. Accordingly, a total of 1,556 bacteria were isolated from 960 nasal swabs collected from three different highland areas of Ethiopia, namely Debre Berhan, Asella, and Gimba. In Debre Berhan, 140 Mannheimia haemolytica, 81 Histophilus somni, 57 Staphylococcus species, and 52 Bibersteinia trehalosi were isolated. While from Gimba M. haemolytica, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and H. somni were isolated at rates of 25.2, 15.9, 11.4, and 5.9 %, respectively, of the total 647 bacterial species. In Asella from 352 bacterial species isolated, 93 (26.4 %) were M. haemolytica, 48 (13.6 %) were Staphylococcus species, 26 (7.4 %) were B. trehalosi, and 17 (4.8 %) H. somni were recognized. Further identification and characterization using BIOLOG identification system Enterococcus avium and Sphingomonas sanguinis were identified at 100 % probability, while, H. somni and Actinobacillus lignerisii were suggested by the system. The study showed that a variety of bacterial species colonize the nasal cavity of the Ethiopian highland sheep with variable proportion between healthy and pneumonic ones. To our knowledge, this is the first report on isolation of H. somni, an important pathogen in cattle, from the respiratory tract of a ruminant species in the country. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Tanto Hadado T.,Marche Polytechnic University | Tanto Hadado T.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation | Rau D.,Marche Polytechnic University | Rau D.,University of Sassari | And 2 more authors.
BMC Plant Biology | Year: 2010

Background: Among the cereal crops, barley is the species with the greatest adaptability to a wide range of environments. To determine the level and structure of genetic diversity in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) landraces from the central highlands of Ethiopia, we have examined the molecular variation at seven nuclear microsatellite loci.Results: A total of 106 landrace populations were sampled in the two growing seasons (Meher and Belg; the long and short rainy seasons, respectively), across three districts (Ankober, Mojanawadera and Tarmaber), and within each district along an altitudinal gradient (from 1,798 to 3,324 m a.s.l). Overall, although significant, the divergence (e.g. FST) is very low between seasons and geographical districts, while it is high between different classes of altitude. Selection for adaptation to different altitudes appears to be the main factor that has determined the observed clinal variation, along with population-size effects.Conclusions: Our data show that barley landraces from Ethiopia are constituted by highly variable local populations (farmer's fields) that have large within-population diversity. These landraces are also shown to be locally adapted, with the major driving force that has shaped their population structure being consistent with selection for adaptation along an altitudinal gradient. Overall, our study highlights the potential of such landraces as a source of useful alleles. Furthermore, these landraces also represent an ideal system to study the processes of adaptation and for the identification of genes and genomic regions that have adaptive roles in crop species. © 2010 Hadado et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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