Survey of Ground Dwelling Arthropods Associated with Two Habitat Types in the Jos Museum Zoological Garden Jos Plateau State, North Central Nigeria
Little is known about the species composition and ecology of ground dwelling arthropods of Zoological Gardens. Thus, this study was aimed to investigate the species abundance and diversity of ground dwelling arthropods associated with Gallery forest and Rocky outcrop of the Jos Museum Zoological Garden Jos Plateau State, North central Nigeria. Arthropods were collected using Pitfall traps during the raining season of June-July, 2013. A total of 500 arthropods belonging to 6 Classes, 11 Orders, 12 Families, 14 Genera and 14 Species were collected. Out of which 130 arthropods individuals representing 26% of the total were collected from Gallery forest, whereas 370 arthropods individual representing 74% were collected from Rocky outcrop. There is a significant difference in the mean abundance of species of ground dwelling arthropods collected from both habitats. There is no significant difference in the mean abundance of ground dwelling arthropods in relation to taxa. The diversity and distribution of arthropods taxa depicted 73% Insecta and 64.4% Hymenoptera as the most abundant taxa. The Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H) differs significantly between the two habitat types. The Gallery forest had the highest diversity index of 2.2140 and Rocky outcrop had the lowest diversity index of 0.9038. Food availability and vegetation cover were found to be critical to arthropods species abundance and diversity. This is a pointer to the usefulness of vegetation and food as key resources for ground dwelling arthropods. It is therefore recommended that adequate protection of the garden be carried out to curd anthropogenic activities.
Key Words: Arthropods, Habitats, Gallery forest, Rocky outcrop and Zoological garden