Diversity, Ecosystem Services And Usage Of Human Modified Afromontane Forest In Southwest Ethiopia

  • Zerihun Fole

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Afromontane forests of southwest Ethiopia have been extensively modified to coffee agroforest. Studies have shown the conservation value of multifunctional agroforest across tropical regions. Understanding local perspectives of use and conservation of forest resources plays a vital role in ensuring the long term forest biodiversity conservation in human dominated landscapes. This thesis examines, as a case study, a forest under participatory forest management that has been to modified to a greater or lesser extent to coffee agroforest. The study explored 1, woody plant composition, structure and regeneration 2, diversity and ecosystem services 3, tradition of forest resources use dynamics across the three management regimes, natural forest, coffee forest and coffee agroforest. In this multidisciplinary study, ecological and ethnoecological approaches were employed as methods of data collection. The study findings presented in this thesis showed that sixty four woody plant species were recorded across the three forest regimes. Woody plant composition and structure of coffee agroforest was analogous to the natural forest and coffee forest. Nevertheless, the composition and structure of woody plants of woody plants were simplified in coffee agroforest. Ecosystem services result showed that more than a dozen of provisioning ecosystem services are extracted from coffee agroforest, natural forest and coffee forest. However, local people were interested in a few of these provisioning ecosystem services. Some of ecosystem services (e..g. construction materials) from the natural forest and coffee agroforest were substituted with eucalyptus. The study findings showed that modified forest (i.e. coffee agroforest) has higher relative importance compared to natural forest and coffee forest in providing provisioning ecosystem service. Under changing landscape coffee agroforest has great potential in maintaining woody species diversity and provisioning ecosystem services. The local control system and access rights differ from the natural forest and coffee forest towards coffee agroforest. Traditional forest management practices are changing along with coffee intensification. The rights to trees in natural forest and coffee forest shifted to the right to coffee plot in coffee agroforest. Non- timber forest products other than coffee, were less appreciated in coffee agroforest. The study findings provide important insights of local perspectives on how forest conservation and community interests can be reconciled in changing forest landscapes. The study contributes to theory of conservation and community based coffee forest conservation.
Date of Award22 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorAnne Robertson (Director of Studies) & Claire Ozanne (Co-Supervisor)


  • Managed forest
  • Southwest Ethiopia
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Coffee forest
  • Non timber forest products
  • Agroforest
  • Community participation
  • Ethnoecology
  • Socioecological

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