Estimating Vegetation Change in Saadani National Park
Henry K. Njovu
College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, P.O Box 3031, Moshi, Tanzania
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 2 doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2016.06.0002
Received: 28 Dec., 2015 Accepted: 08 Feb., 2016 Published: 28 Mar., 2016
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Preferred citation for this article:
Njovu H.K., Kahana L.W., Kamili E., Alfred G. and Mremi R., 2016, Estimating Vegetation Change in Saadani National Park, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2016, 6(2), 1-6(doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2016.06.0002)
Maintenance of species diversity is one of the prime objectives of establishing protected areas network and the main responsibility of wildlife managers. We report results of the study which aimed at estimating vegetation change in Saadani National Park. Specifically, we determined abundance in terms of relative density and variation in diversity between old and regenerating tree populations. Data were collected using a Point Centered Quarter method. A total of 800 trees were measured. Results revealed significant variation in species diversity between regenerating and the old tree populations (F1,18 8.146, P < 0.01). The relative density of regenerating Acacia zanzibarica was (77%) and Terminalia spinosa (12%) respectively and higher than the corresponding old population with (65.5% and 7.75% respectively). We recommend mechanical removal and efficient use of fire to prevent establishment of A. zanzibarica seedlings and saplings in order to decrease its competitive dominance while promote the establishment of new tree species. Conversely, management should look into the possibility of introducing medium sized browsers like impala in order to reduce recruitment rate of A zanzibarica. Further to that, we recommend establishment of a long term vegetation monitoring study which will detect spacio-temporal patterns of vegetation changes and the possible drivers.
Abundance; Dominance; Regenerating trees; Relative density; Species diversity; Saadani National Park