2019, VOLUME 6 ISSUE 2Pages: 241-249
Studies on farmland woody species diversity and their socioeconomic importance in Northwestern Ethiopia
Kidane Giday, Fekadu Debebe, Antony Joseph Raj* and Destaalem Gebremeskel
*Department of Land Resource Management and Environmental Protection, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, P.O. Box 231, Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia
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Study was conducted in the farmlands of Northwestern Ethiopia with the objective of assessing woody species diversity and their socioeconomic importance. Three sites representing three different elevations viz. highland, midland and lowland agroecology were selected. A total of 196 households were randomly selected to collect socioeconomic data. Data on woody species diversity in crop fields was collected by categorizing households as rich, medium and poor and from that categorized household the woody species data were collected from near, medium and far away from homesteads. A total of 39 woody species belonging to 24 families were recorded in the farmlands of the study area. The Shannon diversity index varied from 2.61 to 2.85 and species evenness varied from 0.83 to 0.87 in the study areas. Woody species diversity, richness and abundance were significantly different between rich, medium and poor households at the three study sites. Similarly species richness, abundance and diversity were significantly different among near, medium and far distance farmlands from homesteads. According to the respondents, the main purposes of retaining or planting woody species on their farmland were for soil fertility (35.14%), firewood (24.54%), timber production (11.66%), fencing (8.44%), animal fodder (4.55%), fruit (4.50%), income generation (4.28%), house construction (2.61%), charcoal production (1.61%) and other purposes. Retaining or planting woody species on farmlands significantly contributed for the conservation of biodiversity in the study area.