Land Use Practices, Woody Plant Species Diversity and Associated Impacts in Maze National Park, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southwest Ethiopia
The most recent attentions in biodiversity conservation efforts have been founded in the identification of land use practices and woody plant species in protected areas. Among such protected areas is Maze National Park located in Gamo Gofa Zone, South West Ethiopia. The Park was selected for this study with the objective of investigating land use practices, woody plant species diversity and the associated impacts for its management and sustainability. To achieve the intended objective, community resources were mapped, the different land use categories, drivers of land use change and impacts caused due to land use practices were identified. Vegetation data was collected from seventy 0.04 ha (20 m ×20 m each) plots in seven transects. Cover abundance values were estimated using the modified Braun Blanquet scale of 1 to 8. A total of 4 land use practices and 80 woody plant species belonging to 31 families and 58 genera were encountered being Fabaceae is the most dominant family. Six plant communities were identified by hierarchical cluster analysis using PC-ORD version 5. The data obtained were analyzed using appropriate indices, statistical tools and software. Despite the contributions of the park to the surrounding community and ecotourism, human and livestock population pressures were the major threats which will jeopardize the park’s sustainability. The findings of this study pointed that the park is under serious risk of its biological diversity in general and that of woody plant species in particular due to consequent habitat deterioration, alteration and degradation. It is, therefore, recommended that timely measures should be taken by all stakeholders to sustain and realize the park’s aesthetic, economic and ecotourism potentials.
Wegene Getachew Andabo,
Feleke Woldeyes Gamo,
Land Use Practices, Woody Plant Species Diversity and Associated Impacts in Maze National Park, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southwest Ethiopia, Plant.
Vol. 3, No. 6,
2015, pp. 64-74.
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