Adaptation and Growth Performance of Multipurpose Tree Species under Erer
Dodota condition, Harari Region, Ethiopia
Musa Abdella* and Bira Cheneke
Fedis Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia
Submission: March 18, 2020; Published: April 06, 2020
*Corresponding author: Musa Abdella, Fedis Agricultural Research Center, Harar, P.O. Box 904, Ethiopia
How to cite this article: Musa Abdella, Bira Cheneke. Adaptation and Growth Performance of Multipurpose Tree Species under Erer Dodota condition,
Harari Region, Ethiopia. Int J Environ Sci Nat Res. 2020; 24(1): 556130. DOI: 10.19080/IJESNR.2020.24.556130
A study was conducted to evaluate adaptation and growth performance of five multipurpose tree species at Erer Dodota Kebele, Harari Regional State for three years (June 2016 - June 2019). Five multipurpose tree species (Sesbania sesban, Moringa oliefera, Gravilea robusta, Azadarichta indica and Leuceana leucocephala) were compared in randomized complete block design with three replications. Data on growth parameters, diameter, and plant height and survival rate were measured and recorded at interval of three months. Results revealed that there were highly significant (p<0.05) variations among tree species in height growth, root collar diameter development, diameter at breast height and survival rate at the study area. Among the species tasted, Moringa oliefera showed the highest performance followed by Azadarichta indica, Sesbania sesban and Leuceana leucocephala in terms of height growth, root collar diameter and diameter at breast height at Erer Dodota Kebele. After three years of establishment, Moringa oliefera, Azadarichta indica, Sesbania sesban and Leuceana leucocephala showed the highest mean survival rate at the study area. Hence it can be inferred that the conditions of Erer Dodota matched with the environmental requirement of those tree species. On the other hand, species of Gravilea robusta showed lowest performance at the study area. Thus, the long dry season, which extended from eight to ten months in the study area, clearly explains the poor survival and growth response in some of the species. Generally, the study under Erer Dodota condition and related agro ecology, we advocate these adapted species and properly allocate species into the site that grow and adapt well for further agroforestry practices at wider scale on which success of agroforestry practices and forest plantations depend.
Eastern Ethiopian high land is well known by vegetation cover and most of the surrounding area is covered by forests comprised of a rich mixture of woody species . In spite of the importance of forest ecosystem to the livelihoods of the people in the area, the forest is dwindling from time to time due to high exploitation of woody and non-woody products. Rapid deforestation caused by an escalating demand for fuel wood expansion for agriculture has brought an ever-increasing pressure on native woodland species . If no remedial action is taken, this will cause severe impact on agricultural productivity leading to energy poverty and environmental degradation. Frequent and severe droughts often present a serious threat for millions of lives , which have occurred once in a decade in the 1970s and 1980s. Shortages of animal feed and biomass energy are also such an unsustainable use of natural resources. Currently, biomass energy constitutes 88.7% of all energy consumed in Ethiopia which is mainly derived from the woody biomass resources (forests, woodlands, shrub
lands, planted trees, agro forests). Agro forestry system has much potential for supplying fodder, poles, farm equipment, fuel wood and agricultural improvements .
Multipurpose tree and shrubs species (MPTS) play a considerable role in addressing such multifaceted demands in the mixed crop-livestock production system . They have the ability to fit into the farming system to be used as a source of manure, mulch, soil conservation, forage, fuelwood , farm implements and other like shade and shelter . In Erer Waldaya district, farmers practice on farm and homegarden for economic, social and environmental benefits . These traditional agroforestry practices could be intensified by using fast growing multipurpose tree species (MPTS) to satisfy the demands of the growing population. Thus, before introducing any species to a given agro ecology, there is always a need for a well conducted field trial for matching of the species/provenance to a particular site . The species screening trial that will test the survival and early growth of the species in one to three years. Deciding what species to plant
in any agroforestry system to meet the intended objectives require
a well- conducted field trial to match a species to a particular site.
Many species screening experiments have been conducted in
different parts of country . However information is scarce at
Erer Waldaya district, to recommend promising multipurpose tree
and shrubs species for use in agroforestry practices. Hence, there
is a need to investigate adaptable and promising tree and shrubs
species in the area. Therefore this trail was designed to evaluate
the adaptation and growth performance of five multipurpose
tree species to Erer Dodota conditions and sites of similar agroecology.
The study was conducted at Harari Region, Erer Waldea
District on Farmers Training Center (FTC) which is located in
eastern of Ethiopia. It is found at 530km away from Finfinne,
20km from the nearby Harar town. The elevation of the District
is 1300-1800m.a.s.l, temperature 24-340c, rainfall 1000-1200mm
which has a bimodal type of rainfall and beautiful scene for vision
and is quite conducive for agricultural production system under
rain-fed in the present climatic conditions (Figure 1 & 2).
Seedlings of tree species (Sesbania sesban, Gravilea robusta,
Azadarichta indica, Leuceana leucocephala and Moringa oliefera)
were raised directly into polythene tubes at Erer nursery sites
with the recommendation of nursery activities. Seedlings with
the same age of these tree species were planted in the field in
June, 2016 at experimental sites using a randomized complete
block design with three replications. Each replication had
five experimental plots, representing five tree species of nine
seedlings each. The spacing between blocks and plots were 2.5m
and 2m; respectively and the space between trees in a plot was
2m. After planting, the sites were protected from grazing and
human interferences. Plantation plots were neither irrigated nor
fertilized. Survival rate, plant height (from ground level to the
tip of the plant), diameter at breast height (DBH) and root collar
diameter (RCD) were recorded every three months from June
2016 - June, 2019.
In order to fit the given objectives, data were collected on
growth and adaptation parameters such as Plant height, root
collar diameter, diameter at breast height and survival rate for
the three years at interval of three months. Root collar diameter
were collected only up to the tree reaches 1.3 meters in height
and diameter at breast height were collected after tree reaches
1.3m whereas plant height and survival rate were up to the end of
the period of the activity. Height growth was determined by using
measuring tape and root collar diameter and diameter at breast
height by digital caliper.
Analysis of variance was computed using Genstat software
(18th edition) package to test the significant difference among tree
species. Least significant different (LSD) test was employed to
separate statistically different means using the software package
at 0.05 level of probability.
Among tree species, differences were highly significant
(p<0.05) for survival rate as well (Table 2). After three years of
establishment, Moringa olifera demonstrate the highest survival
rate at experimental site. This can be attributed to the moisture
stress experienced, the growth, survival and distribution of forest
trees. Yitebitu  also reported that Moringa species are quite
drought resistant species which is similar to the observation of
the present study. Azadarichta indica, Sesbania sesban, Leuceana
leucocephala demonstrated the good survival rate at Erer Dodota
condition. Hence, it can be inferred that the condition of Harari
matched well with the environment requirement of these species.
Gravilea robusta on the other hand, showed lowest survival rate at
the study area. The long dry season, which extended from seven
to nine months in the study area, clearly explains the low survival
of the Gravilea robusta seedlings during the experimental period.
In the present study, the mortality was subjectively attributable
to abiotic factors such as drought and moisture stress during
the initial growth from October to June at the study area. On the
other hand, Moringa oliefera, Azadarichta indica, Sesbania sesban
and Leuceana leucocephala were found to be highly resistance to
moisture stress in the study area. Highly significant variations was
among the tree species in survival rate (p<0.05) was recorded at
all three years of age after transplanting.
Analysis of variance revealed that variations in height among
tree species were highly significant (p<0.05) after three years of
age at the study area. Height growth trend (Table 3) showed that
Azadarichta indica and Moringa oliefera were the tallest trees,
followed by Sesbania sesban, Leuceana leucocephala but Gravilea
robusta showed the shortest tree at the study area. Result on
growth performance also showed that Azadarichta indica and
Moringa oliefera were higher than the other species at the study
area. Sesbania sesban and Leuceana leucocephala also showed
good growth performance at both study area. Similarly, Raebild
et al.  also stated that apart from indicating productivity, height
may also be seen as a measure of the adaptability of trees to the
environment as tall trees usually being better adapted to the
site than short trees . Moringa species could also play a great
importance in the rehabilitation process especially during periods
of drought or in areas where nutrient resources are not available.
Several similar studies also showed that fast growth of seedling
is an important indicator in terms of determining the situation
of growth response especially in the first growing period and it
is commonly assumed that the early fast growth rates of tropical
trees reflect productivity status of the trees .
As depicted in Table 3, there is significant variation among tree
species in diameter growth at the study area. Diameter growth
trend shows that the highest root collar diameter was recorded for
Azadarichta indica followed by Moringa oliefera, Sesbania sesban
and Leuceana leucocephala but the lowest root collar diameter
was recorded for Gravilea robusta at the study area condition.
Growth in DBH also a significant (p<0.05) variation for the five
multipurpose tree species. The difference in DBH (1.3m) above
the ground of tree species Azadarichta indica, Moringa oliefera,
Sesbania sesban and Leuceana leucocephala showed highest
diameter at breast height (DBH) within three years data records
at Erer Dodota environment condition. On the other hand Gravilea
robusta showed the lowest DBH [11-13] (Figure 3).
The results indicated that there were significant effect among
tree species for plant height, survival rate, root collar diameter
and diameter at breast height. The survival rate of Moringa
oliefera was the highest followed by Azadarichta indica, Sesbania
sesban and Leuceana leucocephala. While Gravilea robusta showed
poor survival rate at the study area. Poor survival rate and growth
performance might be attributed to the condition and termite
problems of the study area. Moringa oliefera, Sesbania sesban,
Leuceana leucocephala and Azadarichta indica were the species
attained the highest mean heights, while Gravilea robusta had
the lowest values. The comparisons between the height and
diameter growth average of the species showed that Azadarichta
indica had the highest mean height followed by Moringa oliefera, Leuceana leucocephala and Sesbania sesban. Generally, results on
growth performance showed that Azadarichta indica, Sesbania
sesban, Moringa oliefera and Leuceana leucocephala had better
performance than Gravilea robustaat the study area. Accordingly,
those tree species which had better performance were
recommended for further demonstration and evaluation in the
study area and similar agro ecologies. Therefore; planting of these
better performing tree species and increase their promotion as
agroforestry practices were recommended for soil conservation,
shading, forage, fuel wood and in general multifunction purposes
in the area.
We would like to thanks Oromia Agricultural Research
Institute for financial support and Fadis Agricultural Research
Center for provision of the necessary facilities for research work.
We also express our sincere appreciation to the Central Ethiopian
Environment and Forestry Research Center for provision of tree
seeds for the study.
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Moges Y (2004) Recommended Agroforestry/Multipurpose Trees for Borana Lowlands/Midlands and their Production Techniques.Subreport, No.4.
Raebild A, Graudal L,RehmanSK (2003) Evaluation of a provenance trial withAcacia albida, A. Senegal and A. tortilis at DagarKotli,Pakistan. Trial no. 21 in the arid zone series. Results and Documentation No. 26.