Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 360

Full Length Research Paper

Vegetation regeneration in formerly degraded hilly areas of Rwampara, South Western Uganda

Juliet Kyayesimira
  • Juliet Kyayesimira
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Kyambogo University, Uganda
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Julius B. Lejju
  • Julius B. Lejju
  • Department of Biology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 03 February 2015
  •  Accepted: 23 February 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015

Abstract

Rwampara hills located in South Western Uganda have long been subjected to intensive degradation due to increased human activities. The hills have been left bare as a result of vegetation clearing for agricultural land, charcoal burning and grazing. In 1998, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) attempted to restore the degraded hilly areas with the aim of establishing the restoration potential. With the cooperation of the local people, NEMA set aside some parts of the hills to allow natural regeneration, while another parts were planted with exotic tree species mainly Eucalyptus spp. and Pinus patula. This paper presents findings of an assessment on the level of indigenous vegetation regeneration in the three zones namely; restored, planted and areas undergoing degradation due to grazing. The indigenous vegetation was sampled using nested quadrats set along line transects. The results indicate that species richness was different among the three habitat types with the highest number (17 species) recorded in the degraded (grazing) area, followed by the restored area (12 species) and the plantation had the least (10 species). Species density was highest in the restored zone (289.83/ha) and least (80.2/ha) in the plantation zone. The most common indigenous tree species regenerating in all the three study zones were; Olea europaea subsp. africana, Albizia adiathifolia and Markhamia lutea.
 
Key words: Degraded hills, vegetation regeneration, Western Uganda.