Tree Species Composition and Diversity of Ipinu-Igede Sacred Forest in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria

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E. T. Ikyaagba
J. I. Amonum
S. Okwoche


The role of sacred forest/sacred groves in the conservation of biodiversity is well recognised and documented. Despite the importance of sacred forests in conservation, data of flora species composition and diversity in many sacred forests still remain scanty.  The study was conducted to provide baseline data on tree species composition and diversity of Ipinu-Igede sacred forest with a view to promote the role of sacred forest in flora conservation in the area. Systematic sampling technique was adopted for the study. A base line transect of 2 km long was established and five (5) other transects 2 km long were laid at regular interval of 500 km apart. On each transect, 4 sampling plots of 50 mx50 m were established at a regular interval of 500m apart. Within the         50 m x50 m plots, trees with diameter at breast height (DBH)≥10 cm were identified and enumerated. Species Important Value Index (IVI), species richness, species evenness and species diversity were estimated. A total number of 50 tree species in 19 families were recorded. Cola gigantea was the most important tree species with IVI of 14.56, this was followed by Harungana madagascariensis with 13.14. Caesalpinioideae was the dominant family with 6 species, 48.15% of the families were represented by only one species. The species richness was D=9.436, Species Evenness was E´=0.7668 and species diversity was H=3.646. Thirty percent (30%) of the tree species were in the DBH class of 1-40cm indicating good regeneration status of the sacred forest. Acknowledgement of the traditional practices by scientists and other actors in natural resources conservation will help in promoting forest conservation.

Biodiversity, conservation, regeneration, flora, traditional practices

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Ikyaagba, E. T., Amonum, J. I., & Okwoche, S. (2019). Tree Species Composition and Diversity of Ipinu-Igede Sacred Forest in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, 18(3), 1-10.
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