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Tree species composition and structural variations in Falgore Game Reserve, Kano State, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Forestry, Audu Bako College of Agriculture, P.M.B 3058, Dambatta, Kano State, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Forest Production and Products, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria
  • 3Department of Forest Production and Products, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 7, Issue (1), Pages 9-13, January,8 (2019)

Abstract

Tropical ecosystems are being degraded and apparently threatened; it thus becomes very necessary to assess their structure and composition more especially as the threats appear to be on the increase. In Nigeria documented empirical studies on protected areas (PAs) like the Falgore Game Reserve are scantily documented. This study was therefore conceived to achieve the following objectives: i. to identify tree species in Falgore Game Reserve ii. to assess and compare the uniformity or differences in composition and structure of tree species in Falgore Game Reserve, Kano State, Nigeria. Stratified and systematic sampling techniques were used in assessing vegetation cover. The study area was stratified into four topographic locations, namely: Hill top, Sloppy area, Level Ground and the Riparian forest. Hilltop and Sloppy study area sites were located around Zarara hills of the Game Reserve. Level ground site was located around Yantabarmi and Uwar Bazai areas, while the Riparian forest was sited along the Eastern and Western coastlines of River Dori (a tributary of Kogin Kano). At each sampling station, a baseline was established parallel to the edge of the forest. A one kilometer long line transect perpendicular to the baseline was laid in each of the four study locations. 50m×50m sampling plots were systematically established at a predetermined interval of 200m on both sides of the transect. This gave a total of ten sampling plots in each study site, and a total of forty (40) plots for the study. Tree species occurring in each 50m×50m sampling plots were identified, counted and recorded. Tree Species composition and distribution were estimated using indices such as species richness (D), and species diversity (H1). Tree structure was assessed by determining the heights, DBH and basal areas of trees encountered. Altogether, 37 Tree species were identified out of 1,102 individuals trees sighted in the study area. The Level ground recorded the highest number of Trees species (24) with 382 individuals. This was followed by the Riparian forest with 22 trees species and 300 individuals. Sloppy area recorded 18 tree species and 258 individual trees, while the least numbers of trees species (13) and the least individual tree count (162) were recorded in the Hill top site. Highest Tree species diversity (H1=2.5) was recorded at the Level ground, followed by the Riparian forest (H1 =2.4), while the least tree species diversity was recorded at the Sloppy area, (H1=2.1). There were some similarities and dissimilarities in tree species composition and structure across Falgore Game Reserve. The fact that many flora families were represented by single species underscores the need for further research effort in order to ensure the sustainability of those fragile species in the game reserve.

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