Nature History & Environmental Science

Nature History & Environmental Science

The healing capacity of an indigenous forest

The natural health and fertile beauty in this indigenous Juniper forest (40) illuminates with precision the healing capacity of a native forest but also the severe nature and habitat destruction that occurred at the introduction of the Eucalyptus tree.

The importance of careful research regarding knowledge in natural science is here given a severe and evident example before any foreign species is regarded as possible for an introduction into an unfamiliar and very possibly vulnerable habitat.

*A chemical component in the leaves and roots of Eucalyptus trees prevents the growth of both other trees and herbs. This chemical component leads to a monoculture with eucalyptus as the only tree species and eventually no ground cover at all.

*This chemical component causes severe erosion, easily observed in the water running through Addis in connection with the rainy seasons. For every rain period, the layer of fertile soil gets thinner. If nothing is done now, in a couple of years, there will be nothing left for new vegetation, and the erosion will be irreversible.

* Erosion:  Because there is no ground cover, the only thing to hold the soil is the web of roots of the trees. The soil-holding capacity of eucalyptus is very moderate compared with the trees originally covering the slopes of Entoto.

* When the new indigenous forest has grown for some years and action has been taken to halt the erosion, the risk of flooding will be eliminated as a final result of soil with an infiltration capacity well above the situation of today. A balance has been reached between the constraints of the landscape and the land use by man, there spontaneously, and by the introduction of new animals will enrich the present wildlife.

However, a lot of work has been done to re-form an upper soil layer with a protective undergrowth. It would, therefore, be very pleasing with information about a new generation of this highly-blessed historic tree, which, however, still grows in the magical graceful and appealing landscape of Entoto Natural Park.


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