Structural Characterization of Island Rainforests and Secondary Groves in Southern Nigeria
This study characterized the structural attributes of island rainforests and secondary groves within Orogun region in southern Nigeria. The quasi-experimental design was used, and the vegetation structural characteristics were determined in both secondary groves (experimental sites) and island rainforests (control sites). The randomized systematic sampling was employed in dividing the study area into 6 zones which were selected upon the presence of mature rainforest islands and secondary groves respectively. Six plots were sampled in each ecosystem. Tree heights, tree girths, and plot sizes were the data collected. Both secondary groves and island rainforest plots were measured to first determine uniformity in the area covered by the trees, after which, size of 200 ft X 100 ft was chosen as the uniform area of plot from which data were gathered. Tree girths at breast height were determined using measuring tape; while tree heights were determined by the use of Abney level and measuring tape. The 15.0 version of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in the statistical tests of the stated hypotheses. Statistical results showed that t-value = 7.05, P(0.001) > 0.05 for tree heights; and t-value = 3.122, P(0.026) > 0.05 for the tree girths. The mean differences in the structural characteristics between the secondary and mature island rainforest were significant at 0.05 alpha level. This implies that trees within island rainforests are significantly taller and bigger. The higher structural attributes of the island rainforest revealed that over time, conservation of rainforest trees could positively impact on its structural attributes. Therefore, ecosystem-based management approach was recommended for the management and conservation of the rainforest trees and covers
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