Patterns of Tropical Tree Species Richness along Elevational Gradients of Mountain Afadjato, Ghana

Edward D. Wiafe
1.720 361

Abstract


This paper evaluates the effect of altitude on tree species richness, diversity, growth pattern and tree abundance to assess the responses of tree species to environmental changes. The highest mountain in Ghana, Afadjato, was categorized into three namely, lower elevation (200m -400m ASL), middle elevation (400m-600m ASL) and from 600m ASL and above the mountain as upper elevation. On five transects running from the bottom to the top of the mountain, two 20m by 20m squared plots were laid in each category on any 20m rise in altitude along the gradient of the mountain. All trees greater than 5cm in diameter at 1.3m above ground were identified and measured. The species richness, basal areas of trees and diversity differed in all the three levels of elevation. Tree abundance was found to decrease with increasing altitude. It was thought that these variations could be attributed to the various micro-environmental differences that might have occurred as a result of edaphic and climatic factors. Recommendations have been made for future studies.


Keywords


Elevation, Ghana, Mountain, Species richness, Tropical trees

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References


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