Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 697–707 | Cite as

Effect of exclosure ages on woody plant structure, diversity and regeneration potential in the western Tigray region of Ethiopia

  • Tsegay Gebregerges
  • Zewdu K. Tessema
  • Emiru Birhane
Original Paper


Exclosure is a method of rehabilitating degraded lands by protecting them from the interference of animals and from human encroachment, and is used to regenerate native vegetation as a way to reduce soil erosion, increase rain water infiltration and provide fodder and woody biomass in degraded grazing lands. Therefore, we studied woody plant structure, diversity and regeneration potentials in 5- and 10-year grazing exclosures in comparison with open grazed sites in a semi-arid environment. Data on species diversity, abundance, structure, basal area, frequency, density, and regeneration status were collected from 270 sample plots. Forty-one woody species representing 20 families were identified, with 18, 28 and 38 species found in open grazed areas, and in 5- and 10-year grazing exclosures, respectively. The 10-year grazing exclosures had a higher (P < 0.05) species richness and plant densities compared to the 5-year grazing exclosures and the open grazed areas. The population structure and regeneration status of woody species in both grazing exclosures showed an inverted J-shape, indicating a healthy regeneration status, whereas hampered regeneration was observed in open grazed areas. The establishment of grazing exclosures had positive effects in restoring woody plant diversity and improving vegetation structure and regeneration potentials of degraded grazing lands.


Basal area Diversity Important value index Population structure Regeneration status Species composition Exclosures 


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsegay Gebregerges
    • 1
  • Zewdu K. Tessema
    • 2
  • Emiru Birhane
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Shire-Maytsebri Agricultural Research CenterShireEthiopia
  2. 2.Rangeland Ecology and Biodiversity Program, School of Animal and Range Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental Protection, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural ResourcesMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Natural Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway

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