Sokoine University of Agriculture

Spatial variation in plant species richness and diversity along human disturbance and environmental gradients in a tropical wetland

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dc.contributor.author Andrew, S. M.
dc.contributor.author Totland, Q.
dc.contributor.author Moe, S. R.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-10-10T06:21:04Z
dc.date.available 2018-10-10T06:21:04Z
dc.date.issued 2014-11
dc.identifier.issn 395–404
dc.identifier.uri http://www.suaire.sua.ac.tz/handle/123456789/2631
dc.description Wetlands Ecology and Management, 2015; 23:395–404 en_US
dc.description.abstract Human disturbance, natural environmen- tal conditions and seed dispersal are often inferred as important drivers of plant community richness and diversity in wetland ecosystems. However, plant functional groups within a plant community have different environmental requirements and may respond differently to human disturbance. Therefore, the understanding of the relative importance of these variables in determining community and functional groups richness and diversity is important for improved management and wise use of wetland resources. We collected data on vegetation and envi- ronmental conditions, human disturbance and seed dispersal from 60 plots of 20 9 50 m, to identify variables that potentially affect total species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity of the grassland plant community at the Kilombero Valley wetland, Tanza- nia. We further tested whether important predictor variables for species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity differ among graminoid, forb and shrub functional groups. Overall, our results suggest that environmental conditions, human disturbance and seed dispersal determine spatial variation in species rich- ness and Shannon-Wiener diversity of the grassland vegetation. The total richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity and the richness of shrubs decreased with distance from the Kilombero River, whereas the total Shannon-Wiener diversity and the Shannon-Wiener diversity of graminoids decreased with the increase in grazing intensity. Shrub species richness was related to the spatial position of plots and decreased with total organic carbon of soil. Current increase in human disturbances through cattle husbandry and changes in natural environmental conditions (e.g. through water diversion and drainage) should be discouraged in order to restore and sustain biodiversity of the Kilombero wetland. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014 en_US
dc.subject Plant functional groups en_US
dc.subject Wetland grasslands en_US
dc.subject Anthropogenic disturbance en_US
dc.subject Shannon index en_US
dc.subject Kilombero en_US
dc.subject Tanzania en_US
dc.title Spatial variation in plant species richness and diversity along human disturbance and environmental gradients in a tropical wetland en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.url DOI 10.1007/s11273-014-9390-2 en_US


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