Floristic composition, structure and natural regeneration in a moist semideciduous forest following anthropogenic disturbances and plant invasion
This research examined the floristic composition, struture and natural regeneration in three different forests: undisturbed (UF), disturbed-invaded (DIF) and disturbed (DF) within a forest reserve in Ghana.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Of the sites examined, UF had no human disturbance, DF experienced illegal logging, and DIF had prior illegal logging and farming activities. The hypothesis was that canopy openings cause regeneration problems, especially where soils dry out and there is a subsequent loss of nutrients. This leads to an invasion of weeds and herbaceaous plants and thus a simplified floristic composition, structure and reduced natural regeneration. The results found the hypothesis to be largely true: that species richness was highest in UF (68 adult and 3 juvenile species) followed by DIF (51 adult and 1 juvenile species) then DF (34 adult and 5 juvenile species). UF had highest mean basal area, canopy cover and species height. Tree density was greatest in UF (461/ha), DIF (285/ha), and DF (117/ha). Diversity of saplings was highest in DF, though UF had the highest rate of converting saplings into adult trees. DIF impeded regeneration of native plant species and had the highest number of herbaceous species. DIF had the most understory trees (75.3%), followed by DF (68.4%) and then UF (48.8%). Researchers found that management must be done in order to recitfy high levels of anthropogenic disturbances.
Addo-Fordjour, P., Obeng, S., Anning, A.K. & Addo, M.G. 2009, "Floristic composition, structure and natural regeneration in a moist semi-deciduous forest following anthropogenic disturbances and plant invasion", International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 1, nos. 2, pp. 021-037.
- Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah
- University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana