Floristic Composition and Structural Diversity of Shasha Forest Reserve in Ile-Ife, Southwestern Nigeria
The floristic composition and structural diversity were studied in two plots, 25 m x 25 m each, in three different sites of varying vegetation physiognomy: Taungya system, Regrowth forest and Gmelina arborea plantation (TS, RF and GA respectively) of Shasha forest reserve in Ile- Ife southwestern Nigeria. A total of 119 plant species belonging to 51 families and 100 genera were identified in the forest reserve. Woody species represented the most diverse life form. Plant species diversity was higher in the GA (H'=3.5) compared to the RF (H'=3.4) and TS (H'=2.9). Woody plant species density also differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the different physiognomy. Mean basal area and mean girth size were higher in RF compared to TS and GA. Species evenness was also quantitatively higher in the TS (E=0.12) compared to RF (E=0.09) and GA (E=0.08). Sorensen index of similarity were 12.12% (TS and RF), 19.71% (TS and GA) and 20.20% (RF and GA), which is an indication of the heterogeneity of the three different sites, as a result of different management systems of the sites. The knowledge about species composition in the forest reserve will go a long way in identifying important elements of plant diversity, protecting and preserving threatened plant species, monitoring and providing effective management of the forest reserve.
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