Floristic composition, diversity, and richness of woody species of Yerer Mountain natural forest in the central highland of Ethiopia
Yadesa Bato, Tamrat Bekele, Sebsebe Demissew
Ethiopia is one of the world's richest biodiversity countries, due to a wide range of favorable environmental conditions. Yerer Mountain natural forest is one of the remnant dry evergreen montane forests among the designated protected forests in Ethiopia. The study aimed to identify and document the floristic composition, diversity, and richness of woody species of the Mountain remnant natural forest in the central highlands of Ethiopia. The systematic sampling design was used to collect woody species data from 122 quadrats (20 m x 20 m area each) along 22 transect lines. A total of 93 woody species belonging to 73 genera and 46 families were identified in Yerer Mountain natural forest. Of these woody species, 13 were endemic, 79 were indigenous, and 1 was introduced species. Fabaceae Lamiaceae and Asteraceae were the most dominant families in the area. In the Mountain natural forest, five plant community types were identified with varying degrees of species diversity, richness, and evenness. The highest values of species richness (68), diversity (3.981), and evenness (0.943) were observed in community two. However, the least values of species richness (31), diversity (2.816), and evenness (0.820) were observed in community five. The overall species composition similarity coefficients among five plant communities were ranged from 36-78%. Generally, the results of the present study highlighted that the flora of Yerer Mountain natural forest is high rich heterogeneous woody species with a significant number of endemic taxa.