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Natural regeneration potential of key livelihood tree species under different land use types within Omo Biosphere Reserve, Nigeria

Chima Uzoma Darlington, Adedire Moses Oladepo, Omokhua, Godwin Ejakhe

Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Key words: Land use change, Tree species, Livelihoods, Regeneration, Omo.


palm-tree-species-floridaImpact of land use change on the natural regeneration potential of key livelihood tree species in Omo biosphere reserve was examined by evaluating soil seed banks under the Strict Nature Reserve (SNR); three chronosequences of arable farmland – AF1, AF2 and AF3, reflecting short, medium, and long period of cultivation respectively; Nuclea diderrichii Plantation (NDP), Gmelina arborea Plantation (GAP); Tectona grandis Plantation (TGP); Pinus caribaea Plantation (PCP); and Theobroma cacao Plantation (CP). Similarity in key livelihood tree species from the seed banks was zero between the SNR and each of the introduced land use types except with NDP (66.67%) which is an indigenous species. Diversity of the key livelihood tree seedlings was highest in SNR (Simpson 1-D = 0.625; Shannon H = 1.04), followed by NDP (Simpson 1-D = 0.2449; Shannon H = 0.4101) and TGP (Simpson 1-D = 0.142; Shannon H = 0.2712); and zero in GAP, CP, PCP, AF1, AF2, and AF3. Although the diversity of the key livelihood tree species was higher in the SNR than the introduced land use types, the low diversity indices in all the land use types including the SNR suggest that they probably regenerate through other means like seed rain, seedling bank, coppicing, and seed dispersal. The conservation of surviving stands and artificial regeneration in areas where the key livelihood tree populations have diminished was suggested.

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