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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1999

Tree rings as indicators of growth periodicity of acacias in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Ståhl, Göran; Eshete, Getachew


In many arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia, acacia trees are important for the rural economy. However, very little is known about the dynamics of the acacia woodlands. Ln this study, an attempt was made to find out whether or not tree rings in acacias can be used as indicators of growth periodicity. In such a case, growth and yield models could be developed from tree-ring measurements. The study was made in the central part of the Rift Valley of Ethiopia and included samples from both, naturally regenerated and planted acacias. Standard techniques from tree-ring research were employed to study the relationship between tree-ring patterns and different moisture-related climatic variables (e.g. moisture balance, precipitation). Also, the number of rings in trees with known age was counted. The results indicate that the acacias form one ring per rainy season (year) in the dry parts of this area. In a minor complementary study using X-ray densitometry, the wood density appeared to be correlated with moisture-related climatic variables. However, the technique appeared to be of very limited use for locating growth boundaries. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Acacia etbaica; Acacia senegal; Acacia seyal; Acacia tortilis; dendroclimatology; tree-ring chronology; X-ray densitometry

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
1999, Volume: 116, number: 1-3, pages: 107-117

      SLU Authors

      • Eshete, Getachew

        • Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)