Logging impacts in tropical lowland humid forest on tree species diversity and environmental conservation
Journal of Sustainable Forestry
Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria; Department of Forestry and Wildlife Services, Ondo State Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry And Fisheries, Akure, Nigeria
This study assessed the effects of exploitations in natural forest ecosystems on tree species diversity and environmental conservation. This was achieved by comparing tree species diversity and yield in an unlogged forest (Strict Nature Reserve) and a forest reserve where active logging is in progress in Ondo State, Nigeria. Eight plots (20 m × 20 m) were assessed in each site using systematic sampling techniques. All living trees with dbh >10 cm were identified, categorized into families with their diameter at breast height (dbh) measured in each plot. Shannon-Weiner and species evenness indices were used to assess and compare tree species diversity and abundance. The results show that the tropical humid forest is very rich in tree species, as a total of 54 different tropical hardwood species from 23 families were encountered in both forest types. There were 46 species distributed among 21 families in the unlogged forest and 24 species in 14 families in the logged forest. Shannon-Weiner diversity index of 3.16 and 3.03 and evenness index of .83 and .81 were also obtained for the unlogged and logged forest, respectively. Every variable computed had a higher value in the unlogged forest relative to the logged forest. In the unlogged forest, the species with the highest number of occurrence was Mansonia altissima A. Chev. (80 stems/ha). Caesalpinoidae and Sterculiaceae families had the highest number of species (6). In the logged forest, Triplochiton scleroxylon K. Schum. (18 stems/ha) had the highest frequency and Caesalpinoidae family has the highest number of species (4). The study concludes that exploitation has affected species diversity in the ecosystem and subsequently, the roles of trees in environmental conservation are affected. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Diameter-at-breast heights; Diversity index; Environmental conservation; exploitation; Forest reserves; Forest type; Logging impacts; Natural forest ecosystems; Nature reserves; Nigeria; Number of species; Species diversity; Species evenness; Systematic sampling; Tree species; Tree species diversity; Tropical hardwood; Tropical humid forests; unlogged; Conservation; Deforestation; Ecosystems; Environmental protection; Hardwoods; Tropics; Biodiversity; diversity index; ecosystem response; exploitation; forest ecosystem; humid tropics; logging (timber); lowland environment; nature conservation; nature reserve; sampling; species diversity; species evenness; tropical forest; Conservation; Deforestation; Ecosystems; Forests; Hardwoods; Nigeria; Triplochiton; Tropics; Nigeria; Ondo; Malvaceae; Mansonia altissima; Triplochiton scleroxylon