The Role of Soil Seed Banks in the Rehabilitation of Degraded Hillslopes in Southern Wello, Ethiopia

Tekle, K. and T. Bekele

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The species composition in the soil seed bank of degraded hillslopes in southern Wello, Ethiopia, was assessed using the seedling emergence method and compared with that of the standing vegetation. Although most of the species that germinated in the seed banks were herbs and grasses, they can develop a vegetative cover and contribute to reduction of soil erosion. Regeneration of the tree species (some of which have seed viability up to four years) however, requires both time and the presence of mature individuals. Together with hillside closure and soil conservation measures (e.g., terracing), planting of native woody seedlings might help to expedite rehabilitation of degraded hillslopes devoid of trees and shrubs.

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Peer-reviewed Article