Forest Structure, Tree Species Diversity, and Distribution in Ukpon River Forest Reserve, Cross River State, Nigeria
- International Journal of Avian & Wildlife Biology
Esor PE,1 Amonum JI,2 Agera SIN2
For effective conservation management, it is crucial to comprehend the diversity, abundance, and distribution of the forest as wildlife habitat. The fundamental composition of the forest is significantly influenced by the ecological features of the sites, species diversity, and rate of tree species regeneration. This finding aimed to assess the diversity, abundance, and distribution of tree species as suitable habitat for wildlife species and for sustainable forest management, climate change mitigation, and environmental resilience. The study was conducted in dry season (between 5th September, 2021 and April, 2022). Purposive sampling techniques and systematic line transects were used for data collection and plot delineation. There were laid 8 transects, each 1000 meters long and 500 meters apart. Descriptive statistics such as mean, frequencies, and percentages were used to analyze the data. Correlation analyses and diversity indices were carried out using the R programming software. In the study area, 68 tree species from 34 families were found. Meliacea (6 trees per ha), Caesalpiniceae, and Moracea (5 trees per ha) were the three most common tree species in the study area. Melicia excelsa showed the highest relative frequency (2.256%) and (2.241%). The species Bialonella toxisperma had the highest relative dominance (4.970%). In Melicia excelsa, IVI recorded the highest value (4.970%). The tallest tree and Dbh (Diameter at Breast Height) measured 80.5 cm and 68.3m). The Margelef index was 36.10, the Shannon Wiener index was 5.058, and species richness was 68. However, the high proportion of smaller-diameter trees in the forest reserve implies that, it is strong and healthy. Since natural areas play a critical role in slowing down climate change, strict oversight of these areas should be strongly encouraged.
tree species, diversity, distribution, abundance, okpon river