Rehabilitation of degraded lands through plantations is at the frontline of natural resource management in Ethiopia. However, plantations have been faced with various challenges mainly attributed to poor survival rate of tree seedlings. Hence, this research was conducted in Tanqua ‘Abergelle and Weri Leke Wereda’s with the objective of screening tree seedlings for their survival rates under field conditions. Tree seedlings that were mostly produced in nurseries of the Woredas were first identified and analyzed. One watershed from Tanqua Abergelle and two watersheds from Weri Leke were selected to undertake further plantation trials. Pits were prepared one month ahead of plantation. The collected data was analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. Accordingly, almost all seedlings reduced their number at each sequence of inventory periods. The growth of Moringa stenopetala and Eucalyptus camaldulensis were better than the others in Weri-Leke. Eucalyptus camaldulensis recorded the highest growth performance (60.4 cm) followed by Acacia lehay (46.3 cm) in Weri Leke. The seedlings of Moringa stenopetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Faidherbia albida revealed relatively lower survival rates in Abergelle. However, Ziziphus spina Christ (L.) Desf., Acacia tortilis and Parkinsonia aculeata showed higher survival rates (>80%). Moringa stenopetala and Casuarina equisitifolia showed the lowest survival rates (<40%) in Weri-Leke. On the other hand, A. lehay, Gravillea robusta and Eucalyptus camaldulensis revealed better survival rates (c. 60%). Even if further research is still required, tree species that survive > 50% should be considered for plantations in the study areas, and improved post-planting attention and management.
Key words: Natural selection, rehabilitation, species, survival rate.
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