Structure and composition of Androstachys johnsonii woodland across various strata in Gonarezhou National Park, southeast Zimbabwe

E. Gandiwa, G. Chikorowondo, P. Zisadza-Gandiwa, J. Muvengwi

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A study on the structure and composition of Androstachys johnsonii Prain (Euphorbiaceae) woodland across three strata was conducted in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), southeast Zimbabwe. Specifically, the objectives of the study were: (i) to determine the spatial structure and composition of A. johnsonii woodland in GNP and (ii) to determine factors that influence the structure and composition of A. johnsonii woodland in GNP. This study was based on a stratified random design with three major soil groups, and 30 plots were sampled in May 2010. The three soil strata were comprised of soils derived from (i) rhyolite, (ii) malvernia and (iii) granophyre bedrocks. A total of 1258 woody plants were assessed and 41 woody species were recorded. There were significant differences in mean tree heights, tree densities, basal area and species diversity in A. johnsonii woodland across the three soil strata. In contrast, there were no significant differences in the mean number of dead plants per ha in the three study strata in the GNP. Our study findings suggest that A. johnsonii woodland in GNP is being degraded. GNP management should develop a monitoring program through establishing monitoring plots in A. johnsonii woodland, and further studies need to be carried out, particularly on recruitment of A. johnsonii in the GNP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-229
JournalTropical conservation science
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • african savanna
  • elephants
  • acacia
  • fire
  • regeneration
  • dynamics
  • trees
  • responses

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