A phytosociological study of riparian forests in Benin (West Africa)

A.K. Natta, B. Sinsin, L.J.G. van der Maesen

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Floristic ordination and classification of riparian forests in Benin were derived from a comprehensive floristic inventory. TWINSPAN classification and DCA analysis of a data set of 818 plant species and 180 releve's yielded 12 plant communities. Importance of waterways, relief, topography, latitude and longitude were the five major environmental gradients that best differentiated riparian plant communities. A syntaxonomic classification of the identified riparian forests plant communities is presented. Riparian forests in Benin belong to the Mitragynetea Schmitz 1963, which is the phytosociological class of hygrophile fresh water forests of tropical Africa. Based on similarities of ecological conditions and floristic composition, we classified the 12 plant communities into 3 orders : Alchornetalia cordifoliae Lebrun 1947, Lanneo-Pseudospondietalia Lebrun & Gilbert 1954 and Pterygotetalia Lebrun & Gilbert 1954
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
JournalBelgian Journal of Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • vegetation
  • classification
  • ghana


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