Vegetation characterization and evaluation of ecosystem function and plant diversity impacts of Dichrostachys cinerea encroachment in Nech Sar national Park, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is naturally gifted with diverse forest resources accounted for its physiographic and climatic diversity (Fikadu and Melesse, 2014). For example, it is estimated that Ethiopia harbors over 7,000 vascular plants species, of which nearly 840 are reckoned endemic (Tewolde, 1991 as cited in Fikadu and Melesse, 2014). By contrast, the resources are unsustainably utilized leading to increasing onsite (e.g. soil erosion) and offsite (e.g. sediment loading in lowlying lakes) impacts. This study is planned to enable better understanding of the linkages between woody plant diversity and human impacts with the aim to support biodiversity conservation and ecosystem rehabilitation. The study also aims to address bush, Dichrostachys cinerea, encroachment into Savannah grassland of Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia. This will be addressed through studying the underlying mechanisms how D. cinerea affects grassland ecosystem and testing alternative methods to control its invasion.