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

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

Abstract. Enclosure and Acacia shade availability to plants are basic variable in arid and semi-arid rangelands. We aimed to investigate the impact of patch enclosure and Acacia shade on herbaceous species richness and soil chemical properties of rangelands in Shinile Woreda, Somali regional state. The effects of enclosures and Acacia shade are completely different. Herbaceous species richness is significantly high inside enclosure and under Acacia shade. All soil chemical properties have shown significance difference under Acacia shade compared to areas without it. An exception is soil pH which was not affected by the presence or absence of Acacia shade. On the other hand, there is no significant difference in soil chemical properties between inside enclosures and the nearby open grazing areas except for soil pH which were significantly increased at inside enclosures. The study has revealed that soil pH, organic carbon (OC) and organic matter (OM) has shown a positive correlation with species richness in all treatments but with different values of species number. Electro conductivity (EC) and potassium (K) have showed positive correlation with species richness only under Acacia shade inside enclosures but they are negatively correlated in all treatments. Phosphorous (P) has shown 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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