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Woody Species Composition and Structure in a Semi – Arid Environment Invaded by Dichrostachys Cinerea (l.)

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Abstract

Abstract- Invasive plant species are a key factor of universal environmental change. They threaten global biodiversity and cause ecosystem degradation. The impacts of Dichrostachys cinerea on native woody species diversity, floristic composition and vegetation structure were determined. The study also assessed the dynamics and extent of invasion (population size, relative abundance, size class distribution and recruitment capacity) of D. cinerea. Forty woody species were identified in the study area. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in woody species canopy cover, basal area, abundance, richness, density and height classes between invaded and uninvaded sites. Height classes showed that most woody plants were saplings followed by shrubs, trees and lastly seedlings for both invaded and uninvaded sites. Significant (P<0.05) differences were also noted among invaded sites and among uninvaded sites in both density and abundance. Within uninvaded sites, richness also differed significantly (P<0.05). However, there were no (P>0.05) significant differences in basal area and canopy cover among the invaded sites and among uninvaded sites. Richness among invaded sites and height classes among uninvaded sites also did not (P>0.05) differ significantly. There is, therefore, urgent need to manage D. cinerea to curb its adverse effects on native woody species. Index Terms- Dichrostachys cinerea, invasion, woody vegetatio

Topics: I
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.412.8097
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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