Selective Impacts of the 2012 Water Floods on the Vegetation and Wildlife of Wilberforce Island, Nigeria
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages: 73-85
Received: Jan. 13, 2014; Published: Mar. 20, 2014
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Authors
Elijah Ige Ohimain, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Sylvester Chibueze Izah, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Dimie Otobotekere, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
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Abstract
The study was designed to evaluate the impacts of the 2012 water floods on the wildlife and vegetation of Wilberforce Island. Ten transects of 1 km each were established cutting across the three levels of impacted vegetation namely, dead, dying and intact plants. The relative topography of the plots was assessed based on the measurement of receding water marks on plants. The effects of the floods on wildlife were assessed through interviews and field work. The study found that 23 mammals, 21 avian fauna and 37 plants were impacted. The plant species, which exhibited the greatest impacts, was Musanga cecropoides. The water level marks on Musanga cecropoides coincided with the physiological stress on the plant. The receding water level mark on Musanga cecropoides ranged from 59.33 to 164.67cm for the dead plants, 12.00 to 32.67cm for the dying plants, but the water was at ground level for intact vegetation. The study provided an assessment of the 2012 floods impacts on biodiversity, providing scientific evidence for planning responses to mitigate future flooding events and providing the basis for assessment of cumulative impacts of multiple flooding events on the Island since flooding was also predicted to occur in 2013.
Keywords
Climate Change, Flooding Impacts, Relative Topography, Receding Water Marks, Wetlands
To cite this article
Elijah Ige Ohimain, Sylvester Chibueze Izah, Dimie Otobotekere, Selective Impacts of the 2012 Water Floods on the Vegetation and Wildlife of Wilberforce Island, Nigeria, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2014, pp. 73-85. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20140202.13
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