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Abstract, International Journal of Food Science and Agriculture, 2018

Homegarden is an intensive land use system involving the deliberate management of multipurpose trees and shrubs grown in intimate association with herbaceous species with diverse use value. The aim of this study was to assess species diversity and use of plant species in the homegardens including their seasonal variation. Four kebeles with distinct altitude were selected purposively, and fifteen homegardens were randomly selected for data collection from each kebele. The survey revealed that people of the study area use homgarden of size ranging from 0.1 to 1 hectare to cultivate plants of different use values. Overall, 62 plant species distributed in to 55 genera and 35 families were recorded in the study area. Habit wise, herbs had the highest number of species (34) followed by trees (15) and shrubs (9). Family Poaceae had the highest number of species (9) followed by Brassicaceae and Rutaceae with eight species in common, and Alliaceae and Lamiaceae with six species in common. Homegarden plant species were categorized in to seven main use categories. Comparison of species richness and diversity between Altitude and Season revealed that altitudinal and seasonal variation had significant effect on species richness and diversity. Although the local people of the study area seem to have culture of maintaining homegardens, they should be aware of diversifying plant species to maximize the use of homegardens.

Keywords : Enset ventricosum; Homegarden; Seasonal variation; Species diversity; use value