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

Review

Is the expansion of Eucalyptus tree a curse or an opportunity? Implications from a dispute on the tree’s ecological and economic impact in Ethiopia: A review

Aklilu Bajigo Madalcho
  • Aklilu Bajigo Madalcho
  • Department of Natural Resource Management, College of Agriculture, Wolaita Sodo University, SNNP Region, Ethiopia.
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Bekele Lemma
  • Bekele Lemma
  • Department of Chemistry, College of Natural and Computational Science, Hawassa University, SNNP Region, Ethiopia.
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Merkineh Mesene Mena
  • Merkineh Mesene Mena
  • Department of Natural Resource Management, College of Agriculture, Wolaita Sodo University, SNNP Region, Ethiopia.
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Barana Babiso Badesso
  • Barana Babiso Badesso
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Science and Humanities, Wolaita Sodo University, SNNP Region, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 01 May 2019
  •  Accepted: 05 July 2019
  •  Published: 31 July 2019

Abstract

This review was made to bring forth the contradicting outlooks from different research findings, challenges on the Eucalyptus species and show the opportunities we have with the tree. Due to the impact of Eucalyptus tree species on ecological health and agricultural productivity, ecologists, policy makers and politicians have had a negative view on this tree species. Hence, attempts are made to remove the tree from the agricultural landscape in some part of Ethiopia. In contrast, the farmers of Ethiopia prefer the fast growing, economically attractive, and the quality wood yields of Eucalyptus tree species. So we need to look for other dimension to coincide the existing contradictions. Eradication of the tree cannot be solution without replacing with suitable tree species for maintaining biodiversity and ecological balance. The tree can continue to supply fuel wood and construction material and thereby retard the rate of deforestation and loss of biodiversity resources of the remnant forests of the country. Collaborative work is crucial to gear efforts towards the establishment of a proper management system for the cultivation of Eucalyptus tree. Appropriate management practices such as species selection, planting site selection, correct site-species matching and efficient utilization can maximize the opportunity obtained from the tree. It is also very important to look for alternative trees species to replace Eucalyptus trees, and further studies are required to test the level of Eucalyptus species impact on specific ecosystem. Also, polices need to achieve a reasonable trade-off between the socio-economic value and agro-ecological conservation.

 

Key words: Agro biodiversity, biodiversity, ecology, eucalyptus, forest.