Assessment of vegetation community composition in Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi State, Nigeria
This study examined vegetation cover composition in Yankari Game Reserve from 1986 to 2015 with the aim of evolving a sustainable forest resource management and biodiversity conservation. Intensive and extensive ground trotting exercise were employed to collect data on ground vegetation characteristics such as species
type, number, density and information on landuse history and practice within the study area. Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from five near anniversary imageries (November and December) of 1986 (Landsat5-TM), 1999 (Landsat7-TM), 2005 (Landsat 7- ETM), 2010 (Landsat 7- ETM), and 2015 (Landsat-8 OLI) were corrected for atmospheric attenuation using UTM-32 map projection. Quadrant samples were used to generate data on species diversity and distributions of woody plants. The finding reveals that in terms of density, quadrant B shows the lowest value which is as a result of intense pressure on the vegetation cover, while quadrant D shows the highest value. The endangered species recorded in the study area were Eleusine indica and Echinochloa stagnina in quadrant A, Eragrostis tenella in quadrant B. Loudetia annual in quadrant C, and Fuirena ciliaris species in quadrant D. The finding also reveals a decrease in dense woodland vegetation cover over the study period. It is recommended that clear guidelines on the legal activities be developed by the state government with public participation to regulate the use of its resources as well as a balance between utilization of the forest resources and biodiversity conservation.
Keywords: Vegetation community, composition, endangered species, Yankari Game Reserve