Floristic, structural and seed bank diversity of a dry Afromontane forest at Mafai, central Tanzania
2000 (English)In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 9, 241-263 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Flora, vegetation and seed bank were studied in a dry Afromontane forest in the Kondoa Irangi Hills, Tanzania with the objective to obtain information necessary for the promotion of conservation of this forest, which is rapidly degenerating due to human pressure. A preliminary checklist of 104 vascular plants occurring in the forest is provided. Based on 27 plots, each of 400 m2, the forest had the following ecological features: mean tree density 408 stems·ha−1; basal area 66.56 m2·ha−1; Shannon and Wiener diversity 2.6406; evenness 0.7585 and species richness 31 tree species per 1.08 ha. The seed bank was dominated by woody species, including mature forest tree species, and had several species in common with the standing vegetation. The forest contains species that are phytogeographically linked to Madagascan, Western and Southern African floras and also species disjunctly distributed in this forest and the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Correspondence Analysis of tree species based on size classes showed that the timber species had declining populations, indicating the possibility of genetic erosion, while other species showed expanding or interrupted populations. Some DBH-size classes (e.g. 145.0– 189.9 cm) have disappeared from the forest, presumably due to their selective removal. We recommend detailed integrated floristic and faunistic studies of the forest, targeting the ecologically sensitive indicators of habitat change such as orchids, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Finally, a proposal to conserve the forest under a community-based forest conservation scheme is put forward.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 9, 241-263 p.
Research subject Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-42127OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-42127DiVA: diva2:70028