The negative and positive impacts of Prosopis juliflora on the Kenyan and Ethiopian ecosystems: A review study


  • Violah KISHOIN Haramaya University, African Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Dire Dawa, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa (ET)
  • Wycliffe TUMWESIGYE Haramaya University, African Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Dire Dawa, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa; Bishop Stuart University, Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences, Mbarara (UG)
  • Benson TURYASINGURA Haramaya University, African Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Dire Dawa, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa (UG)
  • Wambi WILBER Haramaya University, African Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Dire Dawa, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa; Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute P.O.Box 101, Hoima (ET)
  • Petros CHAVULA Haramaya University, African Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Dire Dawa, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa; World Agroforestry Centre, St Eugene Office Park 39P Lake Road, P.O. Box 50977, Kabulonga, Lusaka (ZM)
  • Joseph P. GWEYI-ONYANGO Kenyatta University, School of Agriculture and Enterprise Development, Department of Agricultural Science and Technology, Nairobi (KE)
  • Shuraik KADER Griffith University, School of Engineering and Built Environment, Nathan, QLD 4111 (AU)
  • Velibor SPALEVIC University of Montenegro, Biotechnical Faculty, Podgorica 81000 (ME)
  • Goran SKATARIC University of Montenegro, Faculty of Maritime Studies and Faculty of Sport and Physical Educations (ME)
  • Lizny JAUFER Liverpool John Moores University, School of Architecture, Merseyside L3 5UX (GB)



ecosystems, impacts, invasive species, livelihoods, Prosopis juliflora


Invasive alien species pose a serious threat to the world’s ecosystems and livelihoods. This review aimed to investigate the negative and positive impacts of Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC on ecosystems in Kenya and Ethiopia. The bibliographic analysis highlighted that Prosopis juliflora was introduced to Kenya and Ethiopia to tackle desertification, ensure the self-sufficiency of wood products, and conserve water and soil in semi-arid areas. Years later, this species has turned invasive; although the communities in infested areas have realized some benefits from this tree such as obtaining timber, charcoal, firewood, shelter, and livestock feed from its pods; the negative impacts of this tree have far outweighed the positives. Notably, this invasive plant has significantly impacted agricultural and livestock productivity by invading pasturelands and farmlands. For instance, the negative health implications for livestock significantly reduce their productivity. Similarly, this plant has reduced the diversity of the native trees, herbaceous, and grasses because of its ability to outcompete them. Control methods such as biological, mechanical, chemical, and control by utilization have been tried but none have so far been effective in controlling this invasive plant. Our results showed that Prosopis juliflora is a serious invader that has a huge potential to invade the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya and Ethiopia. Therefore, stakeholders at all levels need to implement integrated management strategies to reduce the spread and the negative impacts of this species.


Metrics Loading ...


Abdulahi M, Jemal A, Tefara RF (2017). Distribution, impacts and available control methods in Ethiopia. Tropical and Subtropical Agro-ecosystems 75-89.

Abebe A (2017). Impact of Prosopis juliflora on herbaceous vegetation and selected soil physico-chemical properties in Gabi-Rasu Zone, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia. Msc Thesis; Haramaya University.

Ahmed M, Tefera S, Badel M, Barud H (2019). Impact of Prosopis juliflora on people's livelihoods and rangeland ecosystem: its control and management in Kabridahar, Somali Region, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Development Research 41(1):29-45.

Ahmed N, Atzberger C, Zewdie W (2022). The potential of modeling Prosopis juliflora invasion using Sentinel-2 satellite data and environmental variables in the dryland ecosystem of Ethiopia. Ecological Informatics 68:101545.

Alvarez M, Heller G, Malombe I, Matheka KW, Choge S, Becker M (2019). Classification of Prosopis juliflora invasion in the Lake Baringo basin and environmental correlations. African Journal of Ecology 57(3):296-303.

Banerjee A, Ariz D, Turyasingura B, Pathak S, Sajjad W, Yadav N, Kirsten KL (2024). Long-term climate change and anthropogenic activities together with regional water resources and agricultural productivity in Uganda using Google Earth Engine. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 134:103545.

Bashir O, Bangroo SA, Shafai SS, Senesi N, Kader S, Alamri S (2024). Geostatistical modeling approach for studying total soil nitrogen and phosphorus under various land uses of North-Western Himalayas. Ecological Informatics 80:102520.

Bekele K, Haji J, Legesse B, Schaffner U (2018). Economic impacts of Prosopis spp. invasions on dryland ecosystem services in Ethiopia and Kenya: Evidence from choice experimental data. Journal of Arid Environments 158:9-18.

Benzougagh B, Meshram SG, Fellah BE, Mastere M, El Basri M, Ouchen I, ... Turyasingura B (2023). Mapping of land degradation using spectral angle mapper approach (SAM): the case of Inaouene watershed (Northeast Morocco). Modeling Earth Systems and Environment 10:221-231.

Bezaredie D, Tadesse Z, Tadesse Z (2023). Effects of Prosopis juliflora on plant diversity on rangeland in Shilabo District, Somali Regional State, Ethiopia. Heliyon 9(3).

Bobassa D (2017). Effects of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora Dc.) leaf extract and soil from underneath its canopy on growth, yield and yield components of Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata A.Braun). Msc Thesis; Haramaya University, Ethiopia.

Chepkwony SC, Dumarçay S, Chapuis H, Kiprop A, Gerardin P, Gerardin-Charbonnier C (2020). Geographic and intraspecific variability of mesquitol amounts in Prosopis juliflora trees from Kenya. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 78:801-809.

Choge S, Mbaabu PR, Muturi GM (2022). Management and control of the invasive Prosopis juliflora tree species in Africa with a focus on Kenya. In: Prosopis as a Heat Tolerant Nitrogen Fixing Desert Food Legume. Academic Press, pp 67-81.

da Silva VDA, da Silva AMM, e Silva JHC, Costa SL (2018). Neurotoxicity of Prosopis juliflora: from natural poisoning to mechanism of action of its piperidine alkaloids. Neurotoxicity Research 34:878-888.

Debella HA, Ancha VR Atnaw SM (2023). Production, optimization, and characterization of Ethiopian variant Prosopis juliflora based biodiesel. Heliyon 9(5).

Edrisi SA, El-Keblawy A, Abhilash PC (2020). Sustainability analysis of Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC based restoration of degraded land in North India. Land 9(2):59.

El-Keblawy A, Abdelfatah A (2014). Impacts of native and invasive exotic Prosopis congeners on soil properties and associated flora in the arid United Arab Emirates. Journal of Arid Environments 100-101:1-8.

Eshete A, Treydte AC, Hailemariam M, Solomon N, Dejene T, Yilma Z, Birhane E (2020). Variations in soil properties and native woody plant species abundance under Prosopis juliflora invasion in Afar grazing lands, Ethiopia. Ecological Processes 9:1-12.

Gewona GK (2018). Comparative gasification process studies for Prosopis (P. juliflora) and rice husks (Oryza sp.) into Renewable Energy Resources in Kenya. Doctoral dissertation, JKUAT-IEET.

Huho JM, Omar MH (2020). Prosopis juliflora in Asals of Kenya: A friend or a foe plant. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications 10(3):9968.

Hussain MI, Shackleton R, El-Keblawy A, González L, Trigo MM (2021). Impact of the invasive Prosopis juliflora on terrestrial ecosystems. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 52:223-278.

Hussain MI, Shackleton RT, El-Keblawy A, Del Mar Trigo Pérez M, González L (2020). Invasive mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), an allergy and health challenge. Plants 9(2):141.

Kader S, Chadalavada S, Jaufer L, Spalevic V, Dudic B (2022). Green roof substrates-A Literature review. Frontiers in Built Environment 8:1019362.

Kader S, Jaufer L, Bashir O, Raimi MO (2023). A comparative study on the stormwater retention of organic waste substrates biochar, sawdust, and wood bark recovered from Psidium guajava L. species. Agriculture and Forestry 69(01):105-112.

Kader S, Jaufer L, Shiromi K, Asmath A (2021). Comparison of physical and chemical properties to find the alternative substrate material for the betterment of green roof technology. The international Academic Forum (IAFOR).

Kader S, Novicevic R, Jaufer L (2022). Soil management in sustainable agriculture: analytical approach for the ammonia removal from the diary manure. Agriculture and Forestry 68(4):69-78.

Kader S, Raimi MO, Spalevic V, Iyingiala AA, Bukola RW, Jaufer L, Butt TE (2023). A concise study on essential parameters for the sustainability of Lagoon waters in terms of scientific literature. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry 47(3):288-307.

Kader S, Spalevic V, Dudic B (2022). Feasibility study for estimating optimal substrate parameters for sustainable green roof in Sri Lanka. Environment, Development and Sustainability 1-27.

Kilawe CJ, Mbwambo JR, Kajembe GC, Mwakalukwa EE, Ari AM, Mushi GV, Athumani AM, Eckert S, Eschen R (2017). Mrashia: Prosopis has started invading pastures and agricultural lands in Tanzania. The Woody Weeds Project. INSIGHTS Report.

Koech, G, Sola P, Wanjira EO, Kirimi M, Rotich H, Njenga M (2021). Charcoal production from invasive Prosopis juliflora in Baringo County, Kenya. CIFOR.

Ljavić D, Radović M, Kulina M, Zejak D, Spalević V, Kader S, … Glišić I (2023). Influence of cultivar and fertilization treatment on the yield and leaf nutrients content of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.). Heliyon 9(6):e16321.

Madhu P, Sanjay MR, Senthamaraikannan, P, Pradeep S, Siengchin S, Jawaid M, Kathiresan M (2018). Effect of various chemical treatments of Prosopis juliflora fibers as composite reinforcement: Physicochemical, thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties. Journal of Natural Fibers.

Masakha EJ Wegulo FN (2015) Socioeconomic Impacts of Prosopis juliflora on the people of Salabani location, Marigat District, Baringo County in Kenya. Journal of Natural Sciences Research 5(19):41-46.

Mbaabu PR, Olago D, Gichaba M, Eckert S, Eschen R, Oriaso S, ... Schaffner U (2020). Restoration of degraded grasslands, but not invasion by Prosopis juliflora, avoids trade-offs between climate change mitigation and other ecosystem services. Scientific Reports 10(1):20391.

Mbaabu PR, Schaffner U, Gichaba M, Olago D, Choge S, ... Eckert S (2019). Spatial evolution of Prosopis invasion and its effects on LULC and livelihoods in Baringo, Kenya. Remote Sensing 11(10):1217.

Mohamed EH, Mbataru P (2021). Socio-economic contribution of Prosopis juliflora on the livelihoods of local communities in Garissa County, Kenya. Journal of International Business, Innovation and Strategic Management 5(2):1-17.

Ng, WT, Cândido de Oliveira Silva A, Rima P, Atzberger C, Immitzer M (2018). Ensemble approach for potential habitat mapping of invasive Prosopis spp. in Turkana, Kenya. Ecology and Evolution 8(23):11921-11931.

Niguse H, Amare F (2016). Distribution and socio-economic impacts of Prosopis juliflora in East Shewa and West Arsi Zones, Ethiopia. International Journal of African and Asian Studies 24:31-41

Noha A, Nigatu L, Manikandan R (2021). Impacts of Prosopis juliflora L. on soil seed bank flora in Amibara Rangeland of Afar Regional State, Ethiopia. Agricultural Science Digest-A Research Journal 41(4):566-571.

Okumu JA (2019). Determination of factors influencing adoption and control of Prosopis juliflora in Marigat, Baringo County, Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, Egerton University).

Ouallali A, Kader S, Bammou Y, Aqnouy M, Courba S, Beroho M, … Hysa A (2024). Assessment of the erosion and outflow intensity in the rif region under different land use and land cover scenarios. Land 13(2).

Paul JrM (2023). Action against invasive species: charcoal production, beekeeping, and Prosopis eradication in Kenya. Ecological Economics 203:107614.

Qayyum A, Rafiq M, Zahara K, Bibi Y, Sher A, Rafiq MT, Aziz R, Manaf A (2018). Allelopathic effects of invasive Prosopis juliflora on grass species of Potohar Plateau, Pakistan. Planta Daninha v36:e018182503.

Sadeq MA, Abido MS, Salih AA, Alkhuzai JA (2020). The effects of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) on soils and plant communities in the deserted rangelands of Bahrain. International Journal of Forestry Research 2020:1-8.

Seid O, Haji J, Legesse B (2020). Rural households' perception on the effects of Prosopis juliflora invasion: The case of Amibara District of Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia. Pastoralism 10(1):21.

Seid O, Haji J, Legesse B (2020). Rural households' perception on the effects of Prosopis juliflora invasion: The case of Amibara District of Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia. Pastoralism 10(1):21.

Shiferaw H, Alamirew T, Dzikiti S, Bewket W, Zeleke G, Schaffner U (2021). Water use of Prosopis juliflora and its impacts on catchment water budget and rural livelihoods in Afar Region, Ethiopia. Scientific Reports 11(1):2688.

Shiferaw H, Alamirew T, Dzikiti S, Bewket W, Zeleke G, Teketay D, Schaffner U (2023). Water abstraction of invasive Prosopis juliflora and native Senegalia senegal trees: A comparative study in the Great Rift Valley Area, Ethiopia. Science of The Total Environment 862:160833.

Shiferaw W, Bekele T, Demissew S, Aynekulu E (2019). Prosopis juliflora invasion and environmental factors on density of soil seed bank in Afar Region, Northeast Ethiopia. Journal of Ecology and Environment 43:1-21.

Shiferaw W, Demissew S, Bekele T, Aynekulu E, Pitroff W (2021). Invasion of Prosopis juliflora and its effects on soil physicochemical properties in Afar region, Northeast Ethiopia. International Soil and Water Conservation Research 9(4):631-638.

Shuraik K, Lizny J (2022). A novel treatment for determining thermal conductivity of the soil substrates for selecting sustainable growing mediums in terms of thermal resistance. The Journal Agriculture and Forestry 68(3):111-118.

Sintayehu DW, Dalle G, Bobasa AF (2020). Impacts of climate change on current and future invasion of Prosopis juliflora in Ethiopia: environmental and socio-economic implications. Heliyon 6(8).

Sirmah PK (2018). Are the pods and leaves of Prosopis juliflora growing in Baringo Kenya toxic to livestock? Chemical Analysis Perspectives.

Turyasingura B, Akatwijuka R, Tumwesigye W, Ayiga N, Ruhiiga TM, Banerjee A, ... Frolov D (2023). Progressive efforts in the implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Uganda. In: Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore, pp 543-558.

Turyasingura B, Ayiga N, Benzougagh B, Kader S, Singh SK, Bosco NJ, … Bojago E (2023). The complementary role of indigenous knowledge systems in landslide disaster management in Kanungu District, Uganda. Nova Geodesia 3(4):157.

Turyasingura B, Tumwesigye W, Abraham A, Turyatemba Tumushabe J, Akatwijuka R (2023). A literature review of climate-smart landscapes as a tool in soil water management in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Research Journal of Multidisciplinary Technovation 5(2):10-18.

Wudad A, Abdulahi A (2021). Expansion of Prosopis juliflora and land use land cover change in Korahey zone of Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science 12(5):728-737.

Youssef B, Bouskri I, Brahim B, Kader S, Brahim I, Abdelkrim B, Spalević V (2023). The contribution of the frequency ratio model and the prediction rate for the analysis of landslide risk in the Tizi N'tichka area on the national road (RN9) linking Marrakech and Ouarzazate. Catena 232:107464.

Zejak D, Spalević V, Popović V, Markoski M, Dudić B, Ouallali A, … Kader S (2022). Analysis of the presence of heavy metals in the soils of the hilly-mountainous areas of Balkan Peninsula with the assessment of its potential for the fruit growing: case study of the Ljubovidja river basin, Polimlje, Montenegro. Paper presented at the Proceedings, 26 International Eco-Conference and 12 Safe Food, Novi Sad, 21-23 September 2022.




How to Cite

KISHOIN, V., TUMWESIGYE, W., TURYASINGURA, B., WILBER, W., CHAVULA, P., GWEYI-ONYANGO, J. P., KADER, S., SPALEVIC, V., SKATARIC, G., & JAUFER, L. (2024). The negative and positive impacts of Prosopis juliflora on the Kenyan and Ethiopian ecosystems: A review study. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 16(1), 11832.



Review articles
DOI: 10.55779/nsb16111832