Shrubland vegetation and environmental data in western Shewa, Ethiopia have been analysed. Vegetation data include cover-abundance values of vascular plant species; en- vironmental data comprise physical and chemical properties of the soil, altitude, slope, grazing and browsing pressure.
The vegetation data were subjected to hierarchical and non-hierarchical classification and ordination with correspondence analysis. The classification resulted in seven different vegetation types, ranging from grassland with scattered shrubs to degen- erated forest. Ordination of the data and biplot analysis showed that the vegetation is influenced by anthropogenic factors and altitudinal variation. Sand content is related to a low level of anthropogenic influence whereas silt content is related to a high level. This is explained by historical events rather than by the present situation. Total nitrogen, organic carbon, altitude and slope are positively correlated and these variables are negatively related to anthropogenic influences.
The shrubland vegetation may have expanded from lower altitudes and drier sites as forests gradually disappeared.
The recovery of an economically more rewarding vegetation type may be achieved through providing alternative sources of fuel and construction and through prohibiting cultivation and grazing in the shrublands on the hillsides. Regeneration can be accelerated by actively introducing seedlings of tree species that do not need a heavy canopy cover for establishment and growth.
1991. Vol. 2, 173-180 p.