Assessment of species diversity and distribution of woody species on selected plots in Olokemeji Forest Reserve, Ogun State, Nigeria
The Assessment of forest species composition and species diversity is essential in understanding the status of tree population and diversity for conservation purpose. Olokemeji forest reserve is situated in the lowland rain forest of south-western Nigeria and it occupies a total land area of 58.88 km2 . Six study plots of 50m2 each were randomly selected and designated as Frequently Burnt Plot 1, Frequently Burnt Plot 2, Harvested Plot, Unharvested Unburnt Plot, Arable Plot 1 and Arable Plot 2 for the purpose of assessment of species diversity and distribution of woody species. Seven species of trees were identified belonging to five families. One hundred and eighty two stands were enumerated, with Unharvested Unburnt Plot having the highest number of trees at 50. The dominance index for the woody flora was 1 in Frequently Burnt Plot 1 and 2 as well as Arable Plot 1 and 2 except for the Harvested Plot that had the lowest (0.29) while the Unharvested Unburnt Plot had 0.75. Highest species richness was recorded at the Harvested Plot at 0.71. The species diversity in Harvested Plot was low (1.54), while it was extremely low in Unharvested Unburnt Plot (0.43). Evenness index was lowest in the Unharvested Unburnt Plot at 0.43. Tectona grandis had the highest relative importance value in the Frequently Burnt Plot 1. The low species richness and species diversity is a direct indication of anthropogenic interference in the study plots and the forest reserve; this requires urgent mitigation to prevent a total loss of its structure and function as expected of a forest reserve.
Keywords: Species, Diversity, Evenness, Anthropogenic, Forest, Dynamics