Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Çukurova University, 01330 Adana, Turkey

2 Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box 2003, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia


The study was conducted with the aim of assessing the distribution and abundance of invasive alien plant species (IAPS) in two administrative Zones (1 and 3) of the Afar region. Data were collected using systematic sampling technique and regular intervals of 10 km were used during the field survey. The following weeds Calotropis procera, Cryptostegia grandiflora, Jatropha curcas, Lantana camara, Opuntia stricta, Parkinsonia aculeata, Parthenium hysterophorus, Prosopis juliflora, Senna occidentalis, and Solanum incanum were recorded in this study. Prosopis was found in 38% of the 91 sample waypoints in the altitude range of 347-1005 meters above sea level whereas C. procera was recorded in 28% of the interceptions between 347 m and 1010 meters above sea level. P. hysterophorus occurred in 15 % of the waypoints in the altitudes ranged from 603 to 1005 meters above sea level. C. grandiflora and P. aculeata were observed respectively in 3% and 6% of the interceptions while L. camara and O. stricta were recorded only at a single waypoint. Higher abundance levels were observed for P. juliflora and C. procera. The majority of the IAPS were found infesting diversified habitats such as road sides, cropland, grazing land, riversides, forest and habitation areas. Awash Fentale district had the highest IAPS richness by possessing all the recorded species. The detailed distribution maps of the identified IAPS were developed and prioritization and ranking of invasive species was made based on abundance levels. The results of this study can be used in invasive weed management or extension programs that aim to tackle major IAPS problems in the region.


Amare F, Taye T, Nigusse H. 2017. Distribution and abundance of emerging invasive weeds in central western part of Ethiopia. Afr J Agr Res. 12: 1121-1127.

Ameha T. 2006. Impact of Prosopis juliflora (sw.dc.) Invasion on plant biodiversity and soil properties in the Middle-Awash Rift Valley, Ethiopia. Msc, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia.

Berhanu L, Taye T, Rezene F. 2015. Distribution, abundance and socio-economic impacts of invasive plant species (IPS) in Borana and Guji Zones of Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia. Basic Res J. 4: 271-279.

CDO, 2019. Climate: Afar. (Accessed 05 May 2019).

Chamberlain J, Gittens A. 2004. Parthenium Weed Management: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies, second ed. Dept. of NR Mines and Energy, Brisbane.

Csurhes S. 2009. Invasive Plant Risk Assessment: Calotrope Calotropis procera. The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Biosecurity, Australia: 1–18.

Dubale A. 2006. Impacts of Prosopis juliflora invasion and control using charcoal production in Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia. MSc, University of Wales, Bangor, Wales.

Ellison C.A, Barreto R.W. 2004. Prospects for the management of invasive alien weeds using co-evolved fungal pathogens: A Latin American perspective. Biol Invas, 6: 23-45.

Etana B. 2013. Distribution and challenges of an invasive exotic species, Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. (Fabaceae) in Ethiopia, East Africa. Int J Green Herb Chem, 2: 110120.

Grace B.S. 2006. The biology of Australian weeds 45. Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T.Aiton. Plant Protec Quart, 21: 152–160.

Hailu S. 2002. Some biological characteristics that foster the invasion of Prosopis juliflora at Middle-Awash Rift Valley area, Northeastern Ethiopia. MSc, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Hailu S, Demel T, Sileshi N, Fassil A. 2004. Some Biological Characteristics that Foster the Invasion of Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. at Middle Awash Rift Valley Area, north-eastern Ethiopia. J Ari Env, 58: 135–154.

Javaid A, Adrees H. 2009. Parthenium management by cultural filtrates of phytopathogenic fungi. Nat Prod Res, 23: 1541–51.

Jemal T, Taye T. 2015. Abundance and distribution of invasive alien plant species in Illu Ababora Zone of Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia. J Agric Sci Food Technol, 1: 94–100.  

Kassahun Z, Yohannes L, Olani N. 2005. Prosopis juliflora: potentials and problems. J Ethiop Weed Sci Soc, 6: 1–9.

Kaur M, Aggarwal N.K, Kumar V, Dhiman R. 2014. Effects and management of Parthenium hysterophorus: a weed of global significance Int Sch Res Not, 2014: 1–12.

Lakshmi C, Srinivas C.R. 2007. Type I hypersensitivity to Parthenium hysterophorus in patients with Parthenium dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 73: 103–5.

Linney, G. K. 1988. Calotropis procera (Asclepiadaceae): A new weed in Hawaii. Newsl Hawaiian Bot Soci, 27: 123–124.

McConnachie A.J, Strathie L.W, Mersie W, Gebrehiwot L, Zewdie K, Abdurehim A, Abrha B, Araya T, Asaregew F, Assefa F, et al., 2011. Current and potential geographical distribution of the invasive plant Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) in Eastern and Southern Africa. Weed Res, 10: 1–14.

Parsons W.T, Cuthbertson E.G. 2001. Noxious Weeds of Australia, second ed. CSIRO, Melbourne.

Pasiecznik NM, Felker P, Harris P.J.C, Harsh L.N, Cruz G, Tewari J.C, Cadoret K, Maldonado L.J. 2001. The Prosopis juliflora - Prosopis pallida Complex: A Monograph, HDRA, Coventry.  

Pastoral Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau (PARDB). 2009. Identified agricultural investment areas. Annual Report, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia.

Reda A, Tewelde F. 2018. Invasive alien plants species distribution and abundance in selective districts of Tigray Regional State, Ethiopia. Adv Biol Res, 12: 64–84.

Shashitu B. 2008. Assessment of insect natural enemies associated with mesquite (Prosopis spp.) in Amibara district, Afar Regional State. MSc, Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia.

Shiferaw W,Demissew S,Bekele T. 2018. Invasive alien plant species in Ethiopia: ecological impacts on biodiversity a review paper. Int J Mol Biol, 3: 169‒176. 

Sobrinho M.S, Tabatinga G.M, Machado I.C, Lopes A.V. 2013. Reproductive phenological pattern of Calotropis procera (Apocynaceae), an invasive species in Brazil: Annual in native areas; continuous in invaded areas of Caatinga. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 27: 456–459.

Taye T. 2007. The prospects of biological control of weed in Ethiopia. Ethiop J Weed Manag, 1: 63–78.

Taye T, Rezene F, Firehun Y, Dereje T, Tamado T. 2009. Review of invasive weed research in Ethiopia: Increasing crop production through improved plant protection. Plant Prot Soc Ethiop, 2: 381–407.

Taye T, Rupschus C, Wiesner M, Rezene F, Firehun Y, Ulrichs C, Büttner C. 2010. Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) research in Ethiopia: impacts on food Production, plant biodiversity and human health. Ethiop J Agric Sci, 20: 128–150.

Wagner W.L, Herbst D.R, Sohmer S.H. 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai’i. Revised ed, University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.

Witt A. 2010. Biofuels and invasive species from an African perspective-a Review. GCB Bioener, 2: 321–329.

Wittenberg R. 2004. Instruments and tools for assessing the impact of invasive plant species in Africa. Report submitted under the PDF-B phase of the UNEP/GEF Project: Removing Barriers to Invasive Plant Management in Africa. CABI Africa Regional Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.

Zewdie W. Worku A. 2009. Resource Assessment and Feasibility study of Prosopis juliflora for lumber and chip-wood production in Afar Regional State. Forestry Research Center, Ethiopian Institute Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. pp. 1-30.