Ethiopia Economy

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Ethiopia: Broadleafed forest region

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This forest is found in the most humid parts of the country with mean annual rainfall exceeding 1,300mm and extending in elevation from as low as 600m to as high as 3,400m.

It is the main forest type in the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and in some parts of central southern and southeastern highlands and covered about 20% of the country.

The region consists of at least four subregions of plant communities. At the lowest level, from about 600 to 1,100m elevation, is the semi-deciduous Baphia forest.

The top storey of this forest consists of various broad-leafs reaching a height of 30 to 40m.

The second storey also consists of shorter broad-leafed trees. The third storey consists partly of Baphia abyssinica and reaches a height of 15m. The forest has also a shrub layer of varied composition. The Baphia forest accounts for about 2.6% of the total area of Ethiopia.

Above the Baphia forest is the Olea (woira, egersa) forest extending up to about 1,900m in elevation. This forest accounted for about 10.1% of the total area of the country in the past.

The top storey is dominated by 40 to 50m high trees of mainly Olea welwitchii but also of other hardwoods while the second storey trees of 30 to 40m is dominated by Syzygium guineense (dokma, badesa) associated with other hardwoods.

Above the Olea forest is the Aningeria (kerero) forest at a narrow altitudinal belt from about 2,000m in the more humid areas to about 2,400m in the less humid parts.

The forest accounts for about 3.9% of the total area of the country and is characterized by 35 to 45m high top storey consisting of Aningeria adolfifriderici.

The second storey of 25 to 35m high trees varies in composition from place to place but in general are dominated by Croton (bisana, bakanisa), Ekebergia (loel, sombo) and Ayzygium species, among others.

Above the Aningeria forest at elevation between 2,400 and 3,400m is the Arundinaria (kerkeha, leman) forest which accounts for about 3 to 4% of the total area of the country. Stands of Arundinaria alpine of up to 18m high typify this forest.

At lower elevations are the forests of various mixed species of trees below which is found a shrub layer of varying composition and poorly developed ground layers of grasses and sedges.

(Source: National Atlas of Ethiopia)