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Evaluation and flora diversity of Gashaka Gumti National Park-1, Gashaka Sector, Taraba State, Nigeria


A Akinsoji
P.A. Adeonipekun
T.A. Adeniyi
O.O. Oyebanji
T.A. Eluwole

Abstract

This article has been retracted as requested by the authors owing to an unresolved issue bothering on conflict of interest in the article.

The alarming rate of ecosystem degradation in many parts of Nigeria has continued to have significant impacts on the country’s resources, conservation potential, and climate. This pressure led to an ecological and geographical survey in Gashaka Gumti National Park 1, Taraba State, Nigeria in 2013 and 2015 to document the species composition across the different vegetation types and geomorphic gradients, and to assess the vegetation loss between 1991 and 2013. Vegetation analysis was done using standard ecological sampling procedures. Digital Elevation Mapping (DEM) was also done to estimate the altitudinal ranges of the Park, while a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated to ascertain vegetation loss over time. Recognized vegetation types are lowland rainforest, southern Guinea savanna, and montane. A total of 426 species were identified belonging to 306 genera and 104 families with Asteraceae dominating (37 spp.). Also, five species which have never been formally documented in any published flora of Nigeria were identified. With respect to habit, 29 grasses, 26 ferns, 19 climbers, 98 forbs, 9 sedges, 79 shrubs, 152 trees and 14 epiphytes were classified. Plant diversity decreased with increasing altitude. The DEM classified the heights of the sampled area into lowland (400 – 933 m), sub-montane (933 – 1467 m), and montane (1467 – 2000 m). The NDVI revealed higher vegetation cover in 1991 than 2013. These results indicate the importance of regular assessment of floristic composition through checklisting of species in national parks for effective and efficient species conservation and management.

Keywords: Gashaka Gumti, National Park, floral diversity, geomorphic gradient, DEM and NDVI

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eISSN: 1998-0507