African wild olive is an important forest tree species in the Afromontane forests of Ethiopia and one of the dominant tree species in the study area in Central Tigray. The species is highly valued by the local communities due to its excellent qualities as a timber and fire wood species but has been overharvested to the point of becoming endangered in Ethiopia. Knowledge about the regeneration dynamics of African wild olive in the field is very limited.
The tree is hardy and drought resistant once established and is dispersed by birds, which are still abundant in the Tigray highlands - we therefore believe that this species could be a key element for natural regeneration of forests in protected areas. The aim of this research is to analyze all processes in the regeneration cycle of African wild olive from seed to young tree and to identify the critical steps. Results will be used to derive management techniques that can assist African wild olive woodland restoration. The facilitative effect of nurse plants such as Euclea racemosa on the establishment of African wild olive and the link between seed sources, frugivorous birds and the spatial pattern of olive recruits receive particular attention in this research.
A second element of the research addresses a novel technique to monitor forest regeneration at landscape level. The restoration status of forest rehabilitation areas can be assessed by comparing their ecosystem characteristics with those of a reference system, most often what is considered as the natural climax vegetation. The use of simple indicators of ecosystem integrity can speed up availability of resource inventories and therefore contribute to the accelerated implementation of successful rehabilitation practices. Thermal buffer capacity (TBC) of ecosystems has previously been proposed as an overall indicator of ecosystem restoration status. In this research, we use sequential surface temperature measurements as a method for TBC assessment of different land use types, with emphasis on church forests, protected areas and grazing lands. We also evaluate the effect of eucalypts on the overall thermal characteristics of ecosystems. These results are published recently in Restoration Ecology (2004). Find out more on africanwildolive.tk.
|Forest Ecology and Management||member||2003-01-01||2006-01-01|
created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web