Diversity of tree species in cultivated and fallow fields within Shea Parklands of Ghana

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/02/2013
Views (381) Download (14)

Diversity of tree species in cultivated and fallow fields within Shea Parklands of Ghana

F. A. Chimsah, G. Nyarko, J. A. Yidana, A-H. Abubakari, G. K. Mahunu, F. K. Abagale, A. Quainoo
J. Bio. Env. Sci.3( 2), 1-9, February 2013.
Certificate: JBES 2013 [Generate Certificate]


Tree species diversity associated with shea in cultivated and fallow fields of shea parklands of Ghana was studied. The study was to assess tree species diversity in relation to land use type across a North – South gradient of shea growing sites in Ghana. The study was conducted in 2011/12 at Paga, Nyankpala and Kawampe. In addition to shea trees, other highly valued tree species are preserved in parkland systems because of their ability to improve soil fertility and increase crop yield In addition to reducing microclimatic extremes as well as wind and water erosion, parkland trees are important sources of income and nutritional security. There is the need to conserve other tree species so as to reduce the over reliance on shea tree as the sole economic tree in many areas of the savanna parkland. Fifty four (54) quadrats measuring 50 x 50 m (18 in each location) were used as experimental plots. Diversity of higher woody plants was analyzed using the Simpson Diversity Index (D). A total of 863 trees were studied. The total density of trees in cultivated and fallow fields was 64 and 355 for Paga, 39 and 130 for Nyankpala, 75 and 200 for Kawampe. Shea densities in all the study locations showed that there were more shea trees in fallow fields (469) than cultivated fields (298). The main species identified in the study were Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst, Annona senegalensis Pers, Azadirachta indica A.Juss, Terminalia albida Sc Elliot and Senna siamea Lam. The occurrence of thesespecies amounted to 54.8% of all trees. Fallow fields were more species composed (33 species) than cultivated fields (21 species). The results showed differences in diversity based on locations with Paga and Nyankpala showing high species diversity of 0.95 each in cultivated and fallow fields. However, there were no significant differences (P >0.05) in species diversity of all three study locations within cultivated and fallow fields.


Abbiw D. 1990. The useful plants of Ghana. Intermediate Technology Publications/Royal Botanic Gardens, London/Kew, p. 337.

Adler PB, W Lauenroth. 2003. The power of time: Spatiotemporal scaling of species diversity. Ecology Letters 6, 749-756.

Adomako D. 1974. Comparative study of cocoa and sheanut. Annual Report Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana 1973/74 p 178-179.

Adu-Ampomah Y, Amponsah JD, Yidana JA. 1995. Collecting germplasm of sheanut (Vitellaria paradoxa) in Ghana. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 102, 37-38.

Anonymous, 2002. National biodiversity strategy for Ghana. Ministry of Environment and Science.

Asase A, AA Oteng-Yeboah. 2007. Assessment of plant biodiversity in the Wechiau Community Hippopotamus Sanctuary in Ghana. J. Bot. Inst. Texas 1(1), 549-556.

Barker HG. 1962. The Ecological study of vegetation in Ghana. In: J.B. Willis, ed. Agriculture and land use in Ghana. Oxford, p. 151-156.

Boffa JM. 1999. Agroforestry Parklands in Sub-Saharan Africa. Forest Conservation Guide No. 34, Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization, p. 230.

Bonkoungou EG. 2002. The shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) and the African Shea Parklands. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Processing and Marketing of Shea in Africa. Darkar, Senegal 4-6th March, 2002.

Cunningham  AB.  2001.  Applied  Ethnobotany. Earthscan Publication Ltd., London, UK.

FAO. 1988. Traditional food plants. Food and nutrition paper 42, 125-129. FAO, Rome.

Hopkins B. 1979. Forest and Savanna. Heinemann Education Books Ltd 2nd Edition.

Houssain M, JB Hall. 1969. The tree of Mole National Park, Damango, Ghana. Revised by Jongking, C.C.H., 2nd edition. University of Ghana.

Jayarman K. 2000. A Statistical Manual for Forestry Research. Bankok: FORSPA-FAO Publication.

Lawson GW, J Jenik, KO Armstrong-Mensah. 1969. A study of a vegetation catena in guinea savanna at Mole Game Reserve (Ghana). J. Ecol. 56,505-522.

Lovett PN, Haq N. 1999a. Diversity of the sheanut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn C.F.) in Ghana. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.

Magurran AE. 1988. Ecological diversity and measurment. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 354.

Masters ET. 2002. The Shea Resource: Overview of Research and Development across Africa. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Processing and Marketing of Shea in Africa. Darkar, Senegal 4-6th March, 2002.

Roth DS, I Perfecto, Rathcke B. 1994. The effects of management systems on ground-foraging ant diversity in Costa Rica. Ecological Applications 4(3),423-436.

Sallé G, Boussim J. 2001. Parasites and pests of Vitellaria paradoxa and Parkia biglobosa and methods of control. In: Teklehaimanot, Z., 2001. Third annual report of improved management of agroforestry parkland systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, p. 93-96.

Schweigert WA. 1998. Research Methods in Psychology: A handbook, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, USA.

Swindel B F, Conde L F, Smith J E. 1984. Species diversity: Concept, measurement and response to clearcutting and sitepreparation. Forest Ecol. Manage., 8 (1), 11-22.

Tarlor CJ. 1952. The vegetation zones of the Gold Coast. Bull. Forest Dept. Gold Coast 4, 1-12.

Tilman D. 1999. Diversity by default. Science 283, 495- 496.

Vigne C. 1936. Forest of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast. Empire Forest J. 15, 210-213.