Land degradation affecting the livelihoods of people living in dryland areas, particularly the Sub-Saharan Africa countries like Ethiopia. Degraded land rehabilitation in dryland is a challenging task due to moisture limitation. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of soil and water conservation structures on growth of planted tree and rehabilitation of indigenous plant species in West Guji Zone, Dugda Dawa District. Four multipurpose tree species (MPTs) namely Faidherbia albida, Melia azedarach, Moringa stenopetala, and Sesbania sesban were planted in four soil and moisture conservation structures (soil level bund, half-moon, trench and normal pit). Data of survival rate, height and diameter growth of planted tree species and, diversity and species richness of indigenous plant species were collected. The survival rate of all planted MPTs species were declining along the study years; however, the survival rate was better under soil level bund and half-moon. Under control treatments, all planted MPTs died at the end of the study period. The height and stem diameter of F. albida, M. azedarach and M. stenopetala were best in soil level bund and half-moon and followed by the trench. Whereas, the growth performance of Sesbania sesban was not significantly different among the three moisture conservation structures. Furthermore, soil moisture conservation structures significantly increased the indigenous plant species regeneration after the intervention. The mean indigenous plant species diversity and richness were significantly highest in half-moon and soil level bund followed by trench and, lowest in Control (normal pit). Thus, the results a potential for alternative forest and soil restoration in arid areas.
Key words: Rehabilitation, Land degradation, survival rate,Trees growth, Indigenous plant species diversity, Moisture conservation structures.
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