Persistent Soil Seed Banks for Natural Rehabilitation of Dry Tropical Forests in Northern Ethiopia

Reubens, B., M. Heyn, K. Gebrehiwot, M. Hermyand and B. Muys

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The aim of the present research was to test the hypothesis whether soil seed banks can contribute to natural forest regeneration in the dry forest of Ethiopia. Therefore, the composition of the seed bank in relation to vegetation and abiotic environment was analysed in four forest relics and four exclosures, i.e. demarcated land areas under strict conservation management, in the highlands of Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Results show strong relationships between natural vegetation, seed bank composition, soil chemical characteristics and environmental degradation, as evidenced through characteristics such as land use impact and soil depth.

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Peer-reviewed Article