Tree Species Diversity and Dominance in Gelai Forest Reserve, Tanzania
Journal of Energy and Natural Resources
Volume 3, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages: 31-37
Received: May 25, 2014; Accepted: Jun. 9, 2014; Published: Jun. 20, 2014
Views 3013      Downloads 152
Noah Sitati, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Nathan Gichohi, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Philip Lenaiyasa, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Peter Millanga, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Michael Maina, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Fiesta Warinwa, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Philip Muruthi, African Wildlife Foundation, P.O Box 20 00207, Namanga, Kenya
Article Tools
Follow on us
Tree species diversity and dominance of Gelai Forest Reserve, an isolated montane forest located in an arid area of Northern Tanzania remains unknown. A systematic grid of 390 m x 780 m between 100 plots of 0.02 ha, along nine transects was used during the forest survey. The tree species present, location, diameter above breast height (dbh) and botanical names were recorded including regenerants of tree species and key shrub species. These parameters were then used to determine species diversity index, dominance index, number of tree species regenerants, number of stems per ha and tree basal area per ha. A total of 39 tree species were recorded. The tree species with the highest importance values were Nuxia conjesta (70.7), Olea europaea (44.4) and Crotalaria stulhmanii (40.4). The Simpson index value ranged between 0.0 and 0.034; with Crotalaria stulhmanii having the highest (0.034) index. The tree species diversity index ranged between 0.016 and 0.313. Forest stocking was 377 stems per ha while species basal area ranged between 0.098 m2 and 439 m2 per ha, with Nuxia congesta occupying the highest (439.07 m2 per ha) area and Acacia rovumae the lowest (0.098 m2 per ha), respectively. Seventy nine regenerants were recorded on 9% of the plots. Shrubs, herbs and grasses were found on 55% of the plots mainly without trees dominated by Vernonia galamensis, Leonatis leonorus, Ocimum suave and Solonum incanum. In conclusion, the forest has high tree species diversity which is a good stand characteristic of a natural forest. This survey established a baseline for future monitoring of the forest performance after mitigation of human activities.
Baseline, Diversity, Dominance, Gelai Forest, Regenerants, Shrubs, Tanzania, Transects
To cite this article
Noah Sitati, Nathan Gichohi, Philip Lenaiyasa, Peter Millanga, Michael Maina, Fiesta Warinwa, Philip Muruthi, Tree Species Diversity and Dominance in Gelai Forest Reserve, Tanzania, Journal of Energy and Natural Resources. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2014, pp. 31-37. doi: 10.11648/j.jenr.20140303.12
Bhatt, V. and Purohit, V. K. (2009). Floristic structure and phytodiversity along an elevational gradient in Peepalko-ti-Joshimath area of Garhwal Himalaya, India. Nature and Science, 7 (9) 63-74.
Burgess, N.D., Butynski, T.M., Cordeiro, N.J., Doggart, N.H., Fjeldsa J., Howell, K.M., Kilahama, F.B., Loader, S.P., Lovett, J.C., Mbilinyi, B., Menegon, M., Moyer, D.C., Nashanda, E., Perkin, A., Rovero, F., Stanley, W.T., Stuart, S.N., (2007). The biological importance of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. Biological Conservation, 134, 209 – 239. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.08.015.
Burgess, N.D., Lovett, J., Rodgers, A., Kilahama, F., Nashanda, E.,Davenport, T., Butynski, T., (2004). Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Rift. In: Mittermeier, R.A., Robles-Gil, P., Hoffmann,M., Pilgrim, J.D., Brooks, T.M., Mittermeier, C.G., Lamoreux, J.L.,Fonseca, G.A.B. (Eds.), Hotspots Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Ecoregions, second ed. Cemex, Mexico, pp. 245–255.
Burgess, N.D., Doggart, N.H., Lovett, J.C., (2002). The Uluguru Mountains of eastern Tanzania: the effect of forest loss on biodiversity. Oryx 36, 140–152.
Burgess, N.D., Clarke, G.P. (Eds.), (2000). The Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa. IUCN Forest Conservation Programme, Gland and Cambridge.
Burgess, N.D., Nummelin, M., Fjeldsa° , J., Howell, K.M., Lukumbyzya, K., Mhando, L., Phillipson, P., Vanden Berghe, E. (Eds.), (1998). Biodiversity and conservation of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History 87, 1–367 pp.
Burke, A. (2003). Inselbergs in a changing world - global trends. Diversity and Distributions 9: 375–383.
Burke, A. (2005a). Vegetation types of mountain tops in Damaraland, Namibia. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 1487–1506.
Burke, A. (2005b). Biodiversity patterns in arid, variable environments. Mountain Research and Development 25(3): 228–234.
CEPF, (2003). Ecosystem Profile: Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya Biodiversity Hotspot. Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Washington, DC. Available from: .
Dublin, H.T. (1986). Decline of the Mara Woodlands: The Role of Fire and Elephants. PhD thesis, University of British Columbia.
Field, C.R. & Ross, I.C. (1976). The savanna ecology of Kidepo Val-ley Park. Part II: Feeding ecology of elephant and giraffe. E. Afr.Wildl. J. 14,1 - 15.
IPNI (2013). On-line version dated 29 April 2013.
Jain, S.K. &. Rao. R.R. (1977). Field & Herbarium Methods. Today & Tomorrow’s. Printers & Publishers, Delhi, 157pp.
Marshall, A.R. (2007). Disturbance in the Udzungwas: Responses on Monkeys and Trees to Forest degradation. PhD Thesis. The University of York. Pp 151.
Mligo, C. (2011). Anthropogenic disturbance on the vegetation in Makurunge woodland, Bagamoyo district, Tanzania. Tanz. J. Sci. Vol. 37, 95-108.
Nagendra, H. (2002). Opposite trends in response for the Shannon and Simpson indices of landscape diversity. Applied Geography 22, 175–186.
Okali, D., Eyog-Matig, O. (2004). Lessons learnt on sustainable forest management for Africa: Rain forest management for wood production in West and Central Africa. A report prepared for the project KSLA/AFORNET/FAO project. pp 79.
Rabinowitz, A.R. (1997). Wildlife Field Research and Conservation Training Manual. Wildlife Conservation Society, 185th Street and Southern Blvd. Bronx, New York. Pp 281.
Sitati, N.W. (2003). Human-elephant conflict in Transmara District adjacent to Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. PhD Thesis, DICE, University of Kent, UK.
Sitati, N.W., Ucakuwun, E.K., Wishi-temi, B.E.L. (2008). Spatio-temporal analysis of land use types in the Masai Mara dispersal areas, Kenya. East African Journal of Pure and Applied Science. vol. 4. Pp. 24-31.
SPSS (2011). Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
United Republic of Tanzania (URT). (2002). The Forest Act No. 14 of 2002. Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Government Printer. pp. 1281.
van Essen, L.D., J. du P. B othma, N. van Rooyen and W. S.W. Trollope (2002). Assessment of the woody vegetation of Ol Choro Oiroua, Masai Mara, Kenya. Afr. J. Ecol., 40, 76 - 83.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186