Welcome to International Network for Natural Sciences | INNSpub

Paper Details

Research Paper | October 3, 2022

| Download 8

Ecological impacts of fragmentation on the diversity and distributions of indigenous tree species in tropical rainforest of Nigeria

Ndakara Ofudjaye Emmanuel, Atuma, Ifeanyi Morrison, Iwegbue Chukwujindu Maxwell Azubuike

Key Words:

J. Bio. Env. Sci.21(4), 22-34, October 2022


JBES 2022 [Generate Certificate]


This study investigated the ecological impacts of fragmentation on diversity and distributions of indigenous tree species in Nigerian rainforest, with the aim to ascertain how fragmentation impacted on the species of Ceiba pentandra, Irvingia gaboneensis, Piptadeniastrum africanum, Milicia excelsa, Musanga cecropioides, and Pentaklepta macrophylla. The study was carried out in 42 randomly selected matured rainforest fragments above 80 years within the 7 States of the Niger Delta region (grouped into 21 small and big fragments respectively). Data collected were on fragments sizes and tree species populations, through quadrats of 10m × 10m. Statistical analysis of data involved the descriptive, regression, t-test, similarity and diversity indices. Results showed that population of trees, population density and species populations differed among the fragments and significantly varied between the small and big fragments groups. Population densities were higher in big fragments. Populations of trees were significantly related with fragments sizes, with correlation values of 0.90 and 0.79 for the small and big fragments. High similarity index of 91% for the tree species was observed between the small and big fragments. With calculated t-value of 0.265 < table t-value of 2.228, the diversity index between small and big fragments was not significant at 5% level of confidence. Species diversity was higher in small fragments. Fragmentation had higher impact on species richness than their relative abundance. In conclusion, fragmentation has impact on diversity and distributions of tree species. Ecosystem-based management is recommended as an approach to ensure sustainability of indigenous tree species in the rainforest, for the purpose of biodiversity conservation.


Copyright © 2022
By Authors and International Network for
Natural Sciences (INNSPUB)
This article is published under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution Liscense 4.0

Ecological impacts of fragmentation on the diversity and distributions of indigenous tree species in tropical rainforest of Nigeria

Alexander HM, Foster BL, Ballantyne FIV, Collins CD, Antonovics J, Holt RD. 2012. Metapopulations and metacommunities: combining spatial and temporal perspectives in plant ecology. Journal of Ecology 100, 88-103.

Amiolemen SO, Iwara AI, Ndakara OE, Deekor TN, Ita AE. 2012. Assessment of the Nutrient Status of Soil under Chromolaena odorata L. (Siam Weed) Fallow in Moniya, Oyo State, South-Western Nigeria. Ethiopia Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 5, 252-259.

Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Cavender-Bares J, Escobar F, Melo F, Tabarelli M. 2012. Maintenance of tree phylogenetic diversity in a highly fragmented rainforest. Journal of Ecology 100, 702-711.

Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Rös M, Escobar F, Melo F, Santos B, Tabarelli M. 2013. Plant diversity in fragmented rainforest: Testing floristic homogenization and differentiation hypotheses. Journal of Ecology 101, 1499-1458.

Best LB, Bergin TM, Freemark KE. 2001. Influence of landscape composition on bird use of rowcrop fields. Journal of Wildlife Management 65, 42-49.

Brower JE, Zar JH. 1984. Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology (2nd Ed.). WM.C. Brown publishers. Dubuque 1A.

Carlson A, Hartman G. 2001. Tropical forest fragmentation and nest predation – an experimental study in an Eastern Arc montane forest, Tanzania. Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 1077-85.

Chapman JI, Myers, AL, Burky AJ, cm Ewan RW. 2015. Edge Effects, Invasion, and the Spatial Pattern of HerbLayer Biodiversity in an Old-Growth Deciduous Forest Fragment. Natural Areas Journal 35, 439-452.

Collinge SK. 2009. Ecology of fragmented landscapes. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Collins CD, Holt RD, Foster BL. 2009. Patch size effects on plant species decline in an experimentally fragmented landscape. Ecology 90, 2577-2588.

Cook WM, Yao J, Foster BL, Holt RD, Patrick LB. 2005. Secondary succession in an experimentally fragmented landscape: community patterns across space and time. Ecology 86, 1267-1279.

Dechoum MS, Castellani TT, Zalba SM, Rejmánek M, Peroni N, Tamashiro JY, 2015. Community structure, succession and invasibility in a seasonal deciduous forest in southern Brazil. Biological Invasions 17, 1697-1712.

Didham RK, Kapos V, Ewers RM. 2012. Rethinking the conceptual foundations of habitat fragmentation research. Oikos 121, pp 161-170.

Doak DF, Mills LS. 1994. A useful role for theory in conservation. Ecology 75, 615-626.

Duguay SF, Eigenbrod L, Fahrig L. 2007. Effects of surrounding urbanization on non-native flora in small forest patches. Landscape Ecology 22, 589-599.

Dzwonko Z, Loster S. 1989. Distribution of vascular plant species in small woodlots on the western Carpathian foothills. Oikos 56, 77-86.

Elliott KJ, Swank WT. 2008. Long-term changes in forest composition and diversity following early logging (1919–1923) and the decline of American chestnut (Castanea dentata). Plant. Ecology 197, 155-172.

Fahrig L. 2002. Effect of habitat fragmentation on the extinction threshold: a synthesis. Ecological applications 12, 346-53.

Fahrig L. 2013. Rethinking patch size and isolation effects: the habitat amount hypothesis. Journal of Biogeography 40, 1649-1663.

Farmilo BJ, Melbourne BA, Camac JS, Morgan JW. 2014. Changes in plant species density in an experimentally fragmented forest landscape: Are the effects scale-dependent? Austral Ecology 39, 416-423.

Fukami T. 2015. Historical contingency in community assembly: integrating niches, species pools, and priority effects. Annual Review of Ecological Evolution System 46, 1-23.

Fuller DO. 2001. Forest fragmentation in Loudoun County, Virginia, USA evaluated with multitempora Landsat imagery. Landscape Ecology 16, 627-42.

Galanes IT, Thomlinson JR. 2009. “Relationships between spatial configuration of tropical forest patches and woody plant diversity in northeastern Puerto Rico”, Plant Ecology 201, 101-113.

Golden DM, Crist TO. 2000. Experimental effects of habitat fragmentation on rove beetles. Annual Review of Ecological Evolution System 34, 487-515.

Haddad NM, Brudvig LA, Clobert J, Davies KF, Gonzalez A, Holt RD, Lovejoy TE, Sexton JO, Austin MP, Collins CD, Cook WM, Damschen EI, Ewers RM, Foster BL, Jenkins CN, King AJ, Laurance WF, Levey DJ, Margules CR, Melbourne BA, Nicholls AO, Orrock JL, Song DX, Townshend JR. 2015. Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Sci Adv 1, e1500052

Hu G, Feely KJ, Wu J, Xu GF, Yu MJ. 2011. Determinants of plant species richness and patterns of nestedness in fragmented landscapes: evidence from land-bridge islands. Landscape Ecology 26, 1405-1417.

Jongejans E, de Kroon H. 2005. Space versus time variation in the population dynamics of three co-occurring perennial herbs. Journal of Ecology 93, 681-692.

Jules ES. 1998. Habitat fragmentation and demographic change for trillium in old-growth forest. Journal of Ecology 79, 1645-1656.

Laurance WF, Camargo JLC, Luizao RCC, Laurance SG, Pimm SL, Bruna EM, Stouffer PC, Williamson GB, Benitez-Malvido J, Vasconcelos HL, Van Houtan KS, Zartman CE, Boyle SA, Didham RK, Andrade A, Lovejoy TE. 2011. The fate of Amazonian forest fragments: a 32-year investigation. Boilogical Conservation 144, 56-67.

Leach MK, Givnish TJ. 1996. Ecological determinates of species loss in remnant prairies. Science 237, 1555-1558.

Lima PB, Lima LF, Santos BA, Tabarelli M, Zickel CS. 2015. Altered herb assemblages in fragments of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. Biological Conservation 191, 588-595.

Liu J, Wilson M, Hu G, Liu J, Wu J, Yu M. 2018. How does habitat fragmentation affect the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning relationship? Landscape Ecology 33, 341-352.

Magnago LFS, Edwards DP, Edwards FA, Magrach A, Martins SV, Laurance WF. 2014. Functional attributes change but functional richness is unchanged after fragmentation of Brazilian Atlantic forests. Journal of Ecology 102, 475-485.

Martínez-Morales A. 2005. “Landscape patterns influencing bird assemblages in a fragmented neotropical cloud forest,” Biological Conservation 121, 117-126.

Ndakara OE, Eyefia OA. 2021. Spatial and Seasonal Variations in Rainfall and Temperature across Nigeria., Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES) 18, 79-92. https://innspub.net/jbes/spatial-and-seasonal-variations-in-rainfall-and-temperature-

Ndakara OE, Ofuoku UA. 2020. Characterizing plant biomass and soil parameters under exotic trees within rainforest environment in southern Nigeria. AIMS Environmental Science 7, 611-626.

Ndakara OE. 2009. Rainforest Fragments and Diversity of Tree Species in South-Southern Nigeria. International Journal of Environmental Science 5, 116-123.

Ndakara OE. 2011. Litterfall and Nutrient Returns in Isolated Stands of Persea gratissima (Avocado Pear) in the Rainforest Zone of Southern Nigeria. Ethiopia Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 4, 42-50.

Ndakara OE. 2012a: Litterfall and Nutrient Returns in Isolated Stands of Terminalia catappa Trees in the Rainforest area of Southern Nigeria. Ethiopia Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 5, 1-10.

Ndakara OE. 2012b. Biogeochemical Consequences of Hydrologic Conditions in Isolated Stands of Terminalia cattapa in the Rainforest Zone of Southern Nigeria. In: Proceedings in Hydrology for Disaster Management, Martins et al. (ed.). Special Publication of the Nigerian Association of Hydrological Sciences pp. 134-144.

Ndakara OE. 2016a. Hydrological Nutrient Flux in Isolated Exotic Stands of Mangifera indica Linn: Implications for sustainable Rainforest Ecosystem Management in South-Southern Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Science and Environment 14, 125-131.

Ndakara OE. 2016b. Effect of Anthropogenic Disturbance on the Floristic Composition of Rainforest Ecosystem of Southern Nigeria. Sokoto Journal of the Social Sciences 6, 250-259.

Ojoyi M, Mutanga O, Odindi J, Aynekulu E, Abdelrahman E. 2015. The effect of forest fragmentation on tree species abundance and diversity in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 13, 307-324. DOI:10.15666/aeer/1302_307324

Peng S, Hu G, Yu M. 2014. Beta diversity of vascular plants and its influencing factors on islands in the Thousand Island Lake. Acta Ecol Sinica 34, 3866-3872.

Riitters KH, Coulston JW, Wickham JD. 2011. Fragmentation of forest communities in the eastern United States. Forest Ecology and Management 263, 85-93.

Saunders DA, Hobbs RJ, Margules CR. 1991. Biological consequences of ecosystem fragmentation; a review. Conservation Biology 5, 18-32.

Simpson EH. 1949. Measurement of diversity. Nature (London) 163, 688.

Soons MB, Mescaline JH, Jongejans E, Heil GW. 2005. Habitat fragmentation reduces grassland connectivity for both short-distance and long-distance wind-dispersed forbs. Journal of Ecology 93, 1214-1225.

Struebig MJ, Kingston T, Petit EJ. 2011. “Parallel declines in species and genetic diversity in tropical forest fragments,” Ecology Letters 14, 582-590.

Summerville KS, Crist TO. 2001. Effects of experimental habitat fragmentation on patch use by butterflies and skippers (Lepidoptera). Ecology. Vol 82, 1360-70.

Virgos E. 2001. Role of isolation and habitat quality in shaping species abundance: a test with badgers (Meles meles L.) in a gradient of forest fragmentation. Journal of Biogeography 28, 381-89.

Wu JG 2013. Key concepts and research topics in landscape ecology revisited: 30 years after the Allerton Park workshop. Landscape Ecology 28, 1-11.

Yu M, Hu G, Feeley KJ, Wu J, Ding P. 2012. Richness and composition of plants and birds on land-bridge islands: effects of island attributes and differential responses of species groups. Journal of Biogeography 39, 1124-1133.

Zimmerman BL, Bierregards RO. 1986. Relevance of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography and species – area relations to conservation with a case from Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography 13, 133-143.


Style Switcher

Select Layout
Chose Color
Chose Pattren
Chose Background