Patch Enclosure and Localized Effects of Selected Acacia Species on Herbaceous Richness and Soil Properties of Rangelands in Somali Regional State in Ethiopia

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Department of Plant and Natural resource management, Collage of Natural and Computational Science, Dambi Dollo University, Ethiopia

2 Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, Addis Ababa University

Abstract

Enclosure and Acacia shade availability to plants are basic variable in arid and semi-arid rangelands. the aim of this study was investigation the impact of patch enclosure and Acacia shade using four treatments which are Inside Enclosure Under Acacia shade (IEUA), Inside Enclosure Without Acacia shade (IEWA), Outside Enclosure Under Acacia shade (OEUA) and Outside Enclosure Without Acacia shade (OEWA) on herbaceous species richness and soil chemical properties of rangelands in Shinile Woreda, Somali regional state. The effects of enclosures and Acacia shade were completely different. Herbaceous species richness was significantly high in Acacia enclosure. All soil chemical properties showed significance difference under Acacia shade compared to areas without it except soil pH. On the other hand, there was no significant difference for soil chemical properties between inside enclosures and the nearby open grazing areas except for soil pH which was significantly higher inside enclosures. The result of study revealed that soil pH, Organic Carbon (OC) and Organic Matter (OM) were positively correlated with species richness in all of treatments. Electro Conductivity (EC) and potassium (K) showed positive correlation with species richness only under Acacia shade inside enclosures but they were negatively correlated in other treatments. Phosphorous (P) showed positive correlation with species richness at place without Acacia shade inside and outside of enclosure. Determining the relationship between soil and plants is a useful way to better understand the ecosystem condition and can help to manage the rangeland ecosystem. The degraded rangelands can be restored by an increase of an enclosure and Acacia shade which will benefit pastoral community from it.

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