Abundance and structure of African baobab (Adansonia digitata) across different soil types in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

C. Mashapa, P. Zisadza-Gandiwa, E. Gandiwa, S. Kativu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the abundance and structure of African baobab (Adansonia digitata) across soil group strata in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. The study was based on a stratified random sampling design composed of the following soil group substrates: (i) granophyres, (ii) malvernia, and (iii) rhyolite. Belt transects of 0.3 x 0.1 ¿km were randomly laid across soil group. Baobab abundance and population structure were determined from the density and size class distribution, respectively. There were significant differences in plant height and plant density across Gonarezhou soil groups. Study sites on granophyres derived soil group indicated viable abundance and recruitment of baobab population. Whereas the study highlighted a concern over the unbalanced size structure distribution of baobab population on malvernia derived soil group, our results indicated that baobabs are in danger of extirpation on malvernia derived soil group. Baobab community in Gonarezhou tends to occur more densely along environmental gradient of soil group type as influenced by the underlying geological soil substrate of granophyres. Malvernia derived soil group is likely less ideal for baobab recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number874713
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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