The vegetation and environment of the Kakum National Park

  • J. K. Adomako Department of Botany, University of Ghana, Legon
  • E. Laing Department of Botany, University of Ghana, Legon


The Kakum Forest Reserve (about 30 km Northwest of Cape Coast) is a Moist Evergreen Semi-deciduous forests intergrade, with an area of 213.56 km2. Five plots, each of size 25 m by 25 m, were used for the vegetation and microclimatic studies. Profile diagrams show a three-tier arrangement of the trees greater than 20 cm girth at breast height but the strata are not clearly defined. The girth class distribution of trees > 20 cm girth-at-breast-height depict a forest undergoing natural regeneration from seed; lower girth classes have high numbers compared to low numbers in the higher girth classes. Ordination of the plots revealed two main environmental gradients Dry soil–Wet soil and High altitude-Low altitude. Carapa procera and Cola chlamydantha show apparent negative correlation which is largely environmentally imposed - Carapa procera prefers swampy conditions while Cola chlamydantha prefers dry land. 14 families had a frequency occurrence of more than 3% with the Sterculiaceae being the most abundant. The variations of temperature, relative humidity and light intensity were slight under the forest compared to wide fluctuations in the gap. The soils are most probably forest oxysol-ochrosol intergrades.

JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 1 Number 3, July (1999) pp. 104-125

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eISSN: 0855-3823