International Research Journal of Plant Science

International Research Journal Plant Science Vol. 1(4), pp.095-106   October  2010         
Copyright © 2010 International Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Composition and stand structure of a tropical moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana

A.N.M.  Pappoe1, F.A. Armah1, E.C.Quaye1, P.K.Kwakye2 and G.N.T Buxton1

1Department of Environmental Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

2Soil Science Department, School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana

*Corresponding author’s email:  anmpappoe@yahoo.com

Received  21 July, 2010; Accepted 11 October, 2010

Abstract

The species composition of trees and the structure of plant flora of the Kakum National Park (KNP) were studied. A total of 73 species belonging to 63 genera and 28 families were identified in a 2.25 ha of the forest. The most significant families, in terms of the numbers of genera and species, were the Meliaceae, Sterculiaceae, Mimosaceae, Moraceae and Annonaceae. The importance value indices (IVIs) of the species were very low, ranging from 0.39 to 23.17. The Shannon-Weaver and Simpson diversity indices were high (averaging 3.43 and 0.95 respectively) and so was the average equitability (0.80). Most of the species (approximately 93%) were rare. The mean densities of trees and saplings were low with respective values of 257 and 15,043 individuals/ha. The mean density of seedling (50,250 individuals/ha) was high. The mean basal area of the trees was high, 33.76 m2/ha. The high basal area was mainly due to the contributions of six families: Sterculiaceae, Meliaceae, Lecythidaceae, Sapindaceae, Ulmaceae and Mimosaceae in ascending order of importance. Estimated rates of recruitment and mortality of trees in the various size-classes were high.

Keywords: Species composition, moist semi-deciduous, forest, diversity, Kakum

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