Woody species composition, structure and diversity of Mazowe Botanical Reserve, Zimbabwe

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Research Paper 01/06/2013
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Woody species composition, structure and diversity of Mazowe Botanical Reserve, Zimbabwe

C. Zimudzi, A. Mapaura, C. Chapano, W. Duri
J. Bio. Env. Sci.3( 6), 17-29, June 2013.
Certificate: JBES 2013 [Generate Certificate]

Abstract

This study assessed woody species diversity, composition and vegetation structure in a dry forest Miombo woodland at Mazowe botanical reserve. All woody species were systematically identified and measured in 45 sample plots. Analysis of inventory data was done using Microsoft Excel. Four vegetation communities identified along the river, anthills, hills and slope areas of the reserve were demarcated. Relative Density, dominance, frequency, and species and family importance values were computed to characterize the species composition. A total of 108 woody species belonging to 78 genera and 41 families were recorded. Members of the Fabaceae subfamily Caesalpinoideae were dominant with 6 genera and 9 species. Stem densities/ha were high ranged from 572 on the anthills to 2040 along the river valley. The dbh distribution showed an inverse “J” shaped curve, meaning that there is active regeneration and recruitment in the woodlands. Shannon-Wiener Index of diversity values ranged from 1.85 in the slope area to 3.42 on the anthills showing high species diversity in the reserve. This study reveals that the Mazowe botanical reserve has a high species richness and diversity. This is mainly due to the diversity of habitats like river valleys, anthills, streams, hills and slopes for species establishment. A number of anthropogenic activities have been recorded in the reserve notably fire and tree cutting. These require further detailed assessment to evaluate their impact on the woodland dynamics.

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