Stand Structure, Regeneration Status and Distribution Patterns of Six Important Tree Species along Altitudinal Gradients at the Kilum-Ijim Forest Reserve, Cameroon

Main Article Content

Franklin Bantar Nworo
Njoh Roland Ndah
Egbe Enow Andrew

Abstract

Tropical montane forests are considered to be one of the most species diverse ecosystems. These areas pose specific edaphic and environmental characteristics which enable these areas to harbour wide varieties of organisms. Some of these organisms are threatened and others are endemic to the area. The quest for food and other resources has resulted to indiscriminate exploitation of these montane forest. This study aimed to investigate the stand structure, distribution patterns and regeneration status of six tree species (Nuxia congesta, Pittosporum mannii, Podocarpu slatifolius, Prunus africana, Schefflera abyssinica and Syzygium guineense) along altitudinal gradients in the Kilum-Ijim Forest Reserve, Cameroon. A total of six study plots of one hectare (100 x100 m) each were laid across a 120 m elevation gradient. Two plots were established at each altitudinal gradient with elevations 2377 m, 2437 m and 2497 m. Measurements were taken for tree height, diameter at breast height (DBH 1.3 m) for the tree and poles. The digital Vernier callipers were used to measure collar diameters of seedlings and saplings. The highest tree density of 385 stems/ha was recorded for N. congesta at altitude 2497 m while the least was 20 stems/ha for S. abyssinica at altitude 2377m. The highest seedling density was 1563 stems/ha recorded for P. mannii at altitude 2377m and the least was noted for S. abyssinica at all the three altitudinal gradients.  Nuxia congesta had the highest basal area of 8809.23m2/ha at altitude 2437 m and the least of 74.82m2/ha for P. latifolius at altitude 2437 m.  The highest IVI occurred in N. congesta (131.91) was recorded at altitude 2377 m and the least (24.91) occurred in P. latifolius at altitude 2437 m. The spatial distributions of studied tree species were generally clumped and irregular. The regenerations of species were generally poor, though fair regenerations were noticed for N. congesta and P. mannii. The results showed that the six tree species were highly disturbed by anthropogenic activities. It is therefore imperative to develop and implement effective conservation measures to sustain the biodiversity of this reserve.

Keywords:
Diameter classes (DBH), poles, sapling, seedlings, Montane forest, forest exploitation.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nworo, F. B., Ndah, N. R., & Andrew, E. E. (2020). Stand Structure, Regeneration Status and Distribution Patterns of Six Important Tree Species along Altitudinal Gradients at the Kilum-Ijim Forest Reserve, Cameroon. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, 21(4), 41-57. https://doi.org/10.9734/jaeri/2020/v21i430140
Section
Original Research Article

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