Forest edge effects for the three glade types in Mount Meru Game Reserve  

Ladislaus W. Kahana , Gerard Malan , Teresa J. Sylvina
1. College of African Wildlife Management Mweka, P.O. Box 3031, Moshi, Tanzania
2. Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag 620, Pretoria, South Africa
3. U.S. Fulbright Scholar (Independent); College of African Wildlife Management Mweka, P.O. Box 3031, Moshi, Tanzania
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2015.05.0003
Received: 10 May, 2015    Accepted: 16 Jun., 2015    Published: 21 Jul., 2015
© 2015 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
Preferred citation for this article:

Ladislaus et al.,, 2015, Forest Edge Effects for the Three Glade Types in Mount Meru Game Reserve, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, Vol.5, No.3, 1-12 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2015.05.0003)

Abstract

Forest edges have conservation value due to differences in plant species composition, richness and diversity based on the habitat characteristics. This study characterized and compared the forest edge effects of five man-made, five upper and 15 lower natural glades in the Mount Meru Game Reserve. The plant species composition differed significantly between the three glade types. The edge effect was observed between 12.5 - 22.5 and 42.5 - 52.5 meters from the forest edge into the forest interiors of lower and upper natural glades respectively. Eight plant species (Selaginella kraussiana, Plectranthus elegans, Cynoglossum coeruleum, Bersama abyssinica, Asplenium bugoiense, Nuxia congesta, Carrisa edulis and Clutia abyssinica) were found to be indicator species along the forest edge of upper natural glades, one species (Diospyros abyssinica) were indicator of lower natural glades and three species (Solanum incanum, Croton macrostachyus and Teclea nobilis) were indicators of man-made glades. In summary, natural glades and their edges have high plant conservation value as compared to man-made glades due to high plant species abundance, richness and diversity and this rate the conservation value of man-made glades to be low. Therefore, clearing of plants from the forest edges of man-made glades does not in itself contribute to plant biodiversity, although forest-edge plant composition, diversity and richness contributes to ecosystem heterogeneity which supports wildlife conservation.

Keywords
Conservation value; Edge effects; Glade types; Indicator species.
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