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Impact of land use and land cover change on plant species diversity in the Mount Bambouto Caldera of the Western Highlands of Cameroon

By: Formeluh Abraham Toh, Lawrence Monah Ndam, Tsi Evaristus Angwafo, Mvondo Ze Antoine

Key Words: Land use, Land cover change, Plant species, Diversity, Bambouto Caldera

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(1), 104-134, July 2018.

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The impact of land use and land cover (LULC) change on the diversity of plant species, loss of plant resources, and environmental degradation remains a puzzle in the context of continuous development. The quest for solutions to curb negative repercussions has increased, particularly on fragile environments where the intensity of other factors may be more aggravating. This work in the Mount Bambouto Caldera aimed to evaluate the impact of land use systems on phytodiversity and propose mitigative strategies against such impacts caused by LULC changes. Characterized by five land use systems that have evolved due to strong human pressures on agro-ecosystems over past decades, this task was achieved through surveys and stratified sampling to establish plant species diversity. The modified Whittaker technique was used comparatively in pilot studies in different strata to investigate plant species diversity. Identification and recording of plant species was followed by data analyses using Microsoft excel 2013 and SPSS version 13.0. Shannon-Wiener diversity, Pielou’s evenness, and Simpson diversity indices were used to evaluate data generated from the study plots. 415 plant species were identified with 162, 37, and 70 unique to the lowland, sub-montane and montane savannah zones respectively. Plant species diversity established according to land use management systems (LUMS) decreased with altitude and varied across LUMS with a remarkable drop in richness as the natural forest was subjected to LULC changes. This study has established, for the first time, a phytodiversity inventory of the Mount Bambouto Caldera as affected by LULC and provides the basis for management options to curb devastations and enhance conservation efforts.

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Impact of land use and land cover change on plant species diversity in the Mount Bambouto Caldera of the Western Highlands of Cameroon

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Formeluh Abraham Toh, Lawrence Monah Ndam, Tsi Evaristus Angwafo, Mvondo Ze Antoine.
Impact of land use and land cover change on plant species diversity in the Mount Bambouto Caldera of the Western Highlands of Cameroon.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(1), 104-134, July 2018.
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