Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Distribution and abundance of Parthenium hysterophorus L. in Metekel Zone, Northwest Ethiopia.

Abstract

Parthenium hysterophorus L. is a harmful invasive weed to plant biodiversity and human health. It is native to American tropics and first introduced to Ethiopia in the 1970s. Today, it is widely distributed across the country and severely affecting the biodiversity, crop, and animal production in the country. In the Metekel Zone, there was no report on its distribution and impacts so far. Therefore, this study was aimed to assess the distribution and abundance of the plant in the zone. The distribution and abundance data of the weed were recorded at five km intervals following all accessible roads of the zone. The result reveals that P. hysterophorus L. was less distributed in the area with a 4.95% frequency. However, it was found abundantly growing at roadsides, wastelands, around habitation, market place, and around Zeghibridge where it can rapidly spread to most economical lands like the arable and grazing lands. Moreover, it has aggressively invaded a nursery site, which enables the weed to enter agricultural fields directly. This suggests that the weed is on a fast move to agricultural lands in the zone. The regular active development activities such as agricultural investment, construction of roads, and factories are presumed to promote its spread. Therefore, a decisive and timely decision is needed to mitigate the weed when it is still sparse and small.