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Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the regeneration status and importance of Hypahene thebaica L. and associated species in Tekeze riparian vegetation of the North western zone of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia.
Study Design: Systematic sampling technique.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out along Tekeze riverine vegetation, northern Ethiopia between January 2015 and March 2015.
Methodology: Three transects (one and two transects on the right and left side of the Tekeze River, respectively) were laid. The distance between the two transects on the left side of the river was 200 m. Along the transects, 30 plots were established systematically at intervals of 100 m to collect vegetation data.
Results: Eighteen plant species belonging to 12 families were recorded. Fabaceae was found to be the dominant family in the study area and were represented by five species, which contributed to 27.7% of the total species documented, whereas nine families were represented by one species each. The overall density of the study area was 70.97 individuals/ha. Hyphaene thebaica was the second abundant species with 16.13 individuals/ha, and contributed 22.7% to the total density of the riparian vegetation. The total basal area of plants was 1.03 m2 ha-1.Hyphaene thebaica was ranked third and accounts for 12.6% of the total basal area with 0.13 m2 ha-1. The species was the most frequent with 17.02%, followed by Ricinus communis and Balanites aegyptiaca. Balanites aegyptiaca (53.52%), H. thebaica (52.37%) and Ricinus communis (51.76%) were the three most important species.
Conclusion: More mature trees were documented than saplings and seedlings, indicating “poor’’ regeneration status for the riparian vegetation. Hyphaene thebaica has shown “fair’’, while most species were found to have “poorly’’ or “no’’ regenerating. Hence a sound management plan is urgently required to sustainably utilize and conserve the riverine vegetation.