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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Articles by Eshetu Yirdaw

Category: Commentary

article id 6985, category Commentary
Eshetu Yirdaw, Markku Kanninen, Mohamed Elfadl, Daniel Tsegai. (2017). Special issue: Drought and Dryland Management – a commentary. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 1B article id 6985. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.6985
  • Yirdaw, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: eshetu.yirdaw@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Kanninen, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: markku.kanninen@helsinki.fi
  • Elfadl, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: mohamed.elfadl@helsinki.fi
  • Tsegai, UNCCD Secretariat, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: dtsegai@unccd.int

Category: Research article

article id 206, category Research article
Qiaoying Zhang, Yunchun Zhang, Shaolin Peng, Eshetu Yirdaw, Ning Wu. (2009). Spatial structure of alpine trees in Mountain Baima Xueshan on the southeast Tibetan Plateau. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 2 article id 206. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.206
Most of the trees at treeline on the Tibetan Plateau are endemic to the Plateau. Yet little is known about these species. The study focused on the population structure, spatial patterns and associations of the treeline species Abies forestii var. georgei and Juniperus saltuaria at treeline and timberline in Mountain Baima Xueshan on the southeast Tibetan Plateau. These species form monodominant communities on the north- and south-facing slopes, respectively. Stem density, DBH-distribution, distribution pattern of different tree size classes, and intraspecific spatial association between different tree size classes of both species were analyzed. Spatial structure varied between A. forestii var. georgei and J. saltuaria, and for the same species, the spatial structures were also different from timberline to treeline. Stem density, mean tree height and young individuals of A. forestii var. georgei were significantly higher than those of J. saltuaria. For the same species, they were different from timberline to treeline, i.e., stem density and mean tree height of both species became lower. Size classes of both species were mainly clustered either at treeline or at timberline but at different scales, and spatial patterns of young J. saltuaria were mainly dominated by random patterns. Clumps of trees created more favorable microenvironments in harsh environments at treeline and timberline. Most tree size classes showed positive intraspecific spatial associations, but positive associations between size classes of J. saltuaria were not as significant as those of A. forestii var. georgei. The south-facing slope was usually subjected to varying intensities of pastoralism. Livestock disturbance greatly changed the microhabitat and reduced the number of young individuals. The potential of trees to regenerate was greatly inhibited, while A. forestii var. georgei showed greater regeneration potential. Spatial structures of J. saltuaria were also modified by this kind of human impact.
  • Zhang, State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong Province, China; Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lsspsl@mail.sysu.edu.cn (email)
  • Zhang, Shandong Institute of Light Industry, Jinan 250353, Shandong Province, China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Peng, State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong Province, China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Yirdaw, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Wu, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Review article

article id 1673, category Review article
Eshetu Yirdaw, Mulualem Tigabu, Adrian Monge. (2017). Rehabilitation of degraded dryland ecosystems – review. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 1B article id 1673. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1673
Highlights: The prospect of restoring degraded drylands is technically promising; The forest landscape restoration concept can be used as the overarching rehabilitation framework; Development of process-based models that forecast rehabilitation outcomes is needed; Rehabilitation methodologies developed for moist areas are not necessarily suitable for drylands; More data is needed on cost-benefit analysis of rehabilitation interventions.

Land degradation is widespread and a serious threat affecting the livelihoods of 1.5 billion people worldwide of which one sixth or 250 million people reside in drylands. Globally, it is estimated that 10–20% of drylands are already degraded and about 12 million ha are degraded each year. Driven by unsustainable land use practices, adverse climatic conditions and population increase, land degradation has led to decline in provision of ecosystem services, food insecurity, social and political instability and reduction in the ecosystem’s resilience to natural climate variability. Several global initiatives have been launched to combat land degradation, including rehabilitation of degraded drylands. This review aimed at collating the current state-of-knowledge about rehabilitation of degraded drylands. It was found that the prospect of restoring degraded drylands is technically promising using a suite of passive (e.g. area exclosure, assisted natural regeneration, rotational grazing) and active (e.g. mixed-species planting, framework species, maximum diversity, and use of nurse tree) rehabilitation measures. Advances in soil reclamation using biological, chemical and physical measures have been made. Despite technical advances, the scale of rehabilitation intervention is small and lacks holistic approach. Development of process-based models that forecast outcomes of the various rehabilitation activities will be useful tools for researchers and practitioners. The concept of forest landscape restoration approach, which operates at landscape-level, could also be adopted as the overarching framework for rehabilitation of degraded dryland ecosystems. The review identified a data gap in cost-benefit analysis of rehabilitation interventions. However, the cost of rehabilitation and sustainable management of drylands is opined to be lower than the losses that accrue from inaction, depending on the degree of degradation. Thus, local communities’ participation, incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge, clear division of tasks and benefits, strengthening local institutions are crucial not only for cost-sharing, but also for the long-term success of rehabilitation activities.

  • Yirdaw, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: eshetu.yirdaw@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Tigabu, Sveriges Lantbruks Universitet (SLU), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, P.O. Box 49, SE-230 53, Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: Mulualem.Tigabu@slu.se
  • Monge, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: adrian.mongemonge@helsinki.fi

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