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Hindawi International Journal of Forestry Research Volume 2020, Article ID 2198573, 13 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2198573 Research Article Species Diversity, Growth, Status, and Biovolume of Taia River Riparian Forest in Southern Sierra Leone: Implications for Community-Based Conservation 1,2 2 1 3 4 Moses Fayiah , Baimba F. Kallon, Shikui Dong, Mathew S. James, and Sanjay Singh State Key Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China Department of Forestry, School of Natural Resources Management, Njala University, Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone Department of Biological Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences, Njala University, Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone Biodiversity and Climate Change Division, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun, India Correspondence should be addressed to Moses Fayiah; firstname.lastname@example.org Received 22 August 2019; Accepted 28 December 2019; Published 18 November 2020 Academic Editor: Qing-Lai Dang Copyright © 2020 Moses Fayiah et al. *is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Riparian forest inventory is essential in understanding the ﬂoristic biodiversity and provides necessary information on the growth trend and status of plant diversity along forest ecosystem, especially the riparian forests. *is study was undertaken to assess the species diversity, growth status, and bio-volume of Taia riparian forest for community-based conservation in- tervention. In this study, we enumerated 602 individual trees, which comprised 49 species that belong to 37 genera in 25 families. In total, 14 rectangular plots of dimension 20 × 50 m were demarcated. All trees species within the sampled plots having diameter at breast height [Dbh] ≥7 cm were identiﬁed and height measured using the Haga altimeter, girth and measuring tape to determine the growth status. *e result shows that 83% of the trees enumerated have [Dbh] that range from 7 to 30 cm, whereas 17% had [Dbh] greater than 30 cm. Funtumia africana and Trichilia heudelotii were the dominant species in almost all aspects in the study area. Meliaceae, Apocynaceae, and Mimosaceae were the dominant families with the highest species. *e Shannon diversity index was 3.094, whereas the Simpson and Evenness diversity was 0.9303 and 0.4502, re- spectively. Other diversity indices estimated were Margalef 7.544, Equitability 0.7949, and Fisher_alpha 12.77. *e overall 3 2 biovolume was 283.05 m, with a total basal cover of 12.54 m . Height and [Dbh] were not signiﬁcantly correlated with the biovolume. Biotic pressure such as fuelwood collection, unsustainable charcoal production, pole harvesting, bushﬁres, and other traditional and cultural functions contributes greatly to the exploitation of the riparian forest. *erefore, urgent strategic conservation and protection measures should be adopted to prevent further degradation of forest ecosystems along river banks in the district and other ecologies in Sierra Leone. are ﬁve major terrestrial ecosystems in Sierra Leone, namely, 1. Introduction (1) wetland and freshwater, (2) lowland rainforest, (3) ° ° ° ° Sierra Leone (coordinates—6 55′–10 14′N and 10 14′–13 17′W) coastal and marine, (4) montane forests, and (5) savanna with a land area of 72,300 sq. km is situated on the West woodlands . Sierra Leone is endowed with nine major Coast of Africa along the East Atlantic Coast in Africa. *e rivers. *ese rivers and their tributaries host long tracks of country’s geographic location is a quintessential factor that riparian forests along their banks with diverse plant and determines the diversity of its ecosystems, vegetation, and animal species. World Bank  report stated that the biodiversity [1, 2]. Sierra Leone is located within the Upper wetlands of Sierra Leone including riparian forests, man- Guinean biodiversity hot spot of West Africa [1, 3–7]. *ere groves, and swamps account for 4, 800 km and are host to 2 International Journal of Forestry Research other woody product functions of the Tai riparian forest, it diverse biodiversity. According to Karim , riverine or riparian and gallery forests accounted for 35,870 ha, which is provides aesthetic and recreational scenery, and adds value to the landscape. However, the degradation of ri- 0.5 of the country’s total land area. However, based on FAO  report, about 12.6% of the estimated 38.1% forest area of parian forests caused by agriculture and population set- Sierra Leone was lost between 1990 and 2010. In a nutshell, tlements globally drives the loss of environmental quality the country lost an average of 390, 00 ha of forest cover over in watersheds . *e alteration of the forest structure is this period at 0.63% per year. A recent FAO/FRA  report brought about primarily through massive vegetal clear- gave the annual forest change statistics of Sierra Leone from ance for agriculture, charcoal production, and sand 1990 to 2015 as follows: − 4.4% 1990–2000, − 8.1% mining. Biswas and Mallik  noted that the disturbance intensity of riparian forests is likely to have direct eﬀects 2000–2010, 1.1% 1990–2015, and − 4.8% 1990–2015, re- spectively. However, Wadsworth and Lebbie  cautioned on plant diversity and biovolume as a result of environ- mental changes, and this decreases the ecosystem habitat the accuracy and credibility of forest area ﬁgures given by FAO every ﬁve years. *ey argue that the classiﬁcation stability. Habitat destruction and degradation is the most potent threat to biodiversity in Sierra Leone and has been system used by FAO and the data supplied by the country’s authorities on forest cover of Sierra Leone are most times subjected to severe threats, both direct and indirect . exaggerated and ambiguous. Many of these riparian forests in the world were spared in Typical riparian forests are known to consist of the past few decades from human destruction due to freshwater swamp forests and are mostly found in lowland diﬃculty in accessing them and also to periodic ﬂooding rainforest along with narrow water bodies. In these envi- regimes . ronments, the temperature is milder and the humidity is Many researchers [30–41] have conducted various studies on riparian forest globally. Nevertheless, very little higher than the surrounding highlands. Rodrigues and Shepherd  noted that riparian forests are one of the documentation is available for the riparian forests within Sierra Leone with Taia riparian forest in particular and even biosphere’s most complex ecological systems rich in bio- diversity and essential for maintaining the vitality of the where was the said piece of information is available, it is unpublished and outdated. landscape and ﬂow of rivers . *e riparian forests are essential for the protection of watersheds , and when In Sierra Leone, although few quantitative plant diversity they are destroyed, siltation and degradation of the wa- studies are available, however, no comprehensive study on tercourses become severe. Additionally, riparian zones riparian forests has been done in recent years. Reference from form the interface between aquatic and terrestrial eco- [2, 3, 42] conﬁrmed that literature on plant diversity and forest systems and are often characterized by unique plant di- cover is scarce and uncertain where available. As tree species versity with diﬀerent ecosystem function as compared with diversity varies signiﬁcantly from location to location due to the variations in biogeographic habitat and disturbance , it is surrounding communities . *e ﬂora of these ecosys- tems provides essential ecosystem functions (e.g., stabi- essential for inventories to be conducted in riparian and all forest types to make available quantitative data on plant di- lizing stream banks, controlling nutrients, and providing habitat) and services such as ﬂood mitigation and versity, forest cover, structure, and composition of tree species groundwater recharge [14–16]. *ese forests also play a role in all forests in Sierra Leone. *is work intends to give an in the mitigation and movement of many terrestrial animal insight into the plant diversity, growth status, and biovolume of species, forming corridors of connectivity between dif- riparian forests, with a focus on Taia riparian forests. Results ferent forest patches . Furthermore, humans, as well as from this study will provide useful insight into the ecological aquatic biota and other animals, depend on these services status and plant diversity of forests along river banks in Sierra for their well-being and as habitat . *ey are a reservoir Leone. Hence, the primary motive for undertaking this study is for wild plants and animals facing extinction in the typical to provide adequate knowledge and bridge the riparian forests diversity status uncertainties gap that have existed over the past forest as a result of urbanization and other biotic activities. Studies have also shown that riparian forests serve as decades in Sierra Leone. corridors for maintaining regional biodiversity , pro- viding vital links in the landscape for birds and small 2. Methodology mammals [20–22]. Despite their size in patches, riparian forests are highly complex, diverse, and productive systems 2.1. Description of the Study Area. *e study was conducted of signiﬁcant ecological, social, and economic values in a Riparian forest along the Taia River within Kori [23–26]. Chiefdom, Moyamba District, Southern Sierra Leone, with ° ° *ough the riparian forests along the Taia River are coordinates ranging from N 08 06′31″ W 012 05′00.2″ to N ° ° essential in protecting the river, however, little or less 08 19′24.8″W012 10′28.1″. *e study area has two pro- consideration has been attached to its conservation nor nounce and distinct seasons. *e rainy season starts mostly have any or regular scientiﬁc studies been conducted to in May and ends in October, whereas the dry season starts assess its status and biodiversity in recent years. *e Taia in November and ends in April. *e average annual rainfall River and its riparian forest serve as a livelihood hub for ranges between 2000 and 3500 mm. *e maximum most of the local residents along its path, thereby making monthly mean temperature ranges between 21 and 23 it a focal point of conservation. Besides the direct eco- degree Celsius for the substantial part of the day and night, system services such as nontimber forest products and most notably during the rainy season . *e study area is International Journal of Forestry Research 3 (1) Basal area calculation: the basal area of all trees was located approximately 150 km from the capital city, Freetown. Taia riparian forest is in close proximity to calculated using the formula BA =πD /4, where BA residential settlements, and the main occupation in this is the basal area (m ), D is the diameter at breast area is farming, ﬁshing, pole harvesting, and charcoal height (cm), and π is pie [3.14]. production. (2) Biovolume calculation: the biovolume of individual *e clay classiﬁcation in the study area is called the trees was estimated using the equation developed for “Nyawama Series.” *e Nyawama soils make up an essential trees biovolume estimation in lowland rainforests part of the nearly level (0 to 3 per cent slope) terraces along . *e equation is expressed as follows: the meanders of Taia River. “Textures are sandy clay loam to V � e − 8.433 ± 2.331 Ln[D], (1) clay loam in the topsoil, usually changing towards clay or sandy clay in the subsoil” . where V is the volume of a tree (m ) and D is Dbh (cm). 2.2. Tree Species Identiﬁcation. *e botanical name of spe- (3) Shannon–Weiner diversity index (H): the Shan- cies, family, and genera of all the trees encountered in the non–Wiener diversity index (Shannon and Wiener sample plots was identiﬁed using ﬂora of Sierra Leone by , Kent and Coker , and Gaines et al. ) was . In cases where a tree’s scientiﬁc name was not known calculated using the formula: immediately, such a tree was identiﬁed by its commercial or local name and representative parts of the tree collected and pressed for further identiﬁcation at the National Herbarium SHDI � − P × ln P (2) , i i at Njala University. i�1 where H1 is the Shannon–Wiener index of diversity, 2.3.StudyDesignandMethod. *e study was carried out in P is the proportion of individuals of a species, S is the June 2017. Fourteen (14) rectangular plots of dimension number of species in the community, Σ is the 20 × 50 m were laid out within the study area. *e sys- summation symbol, and ln is the natural logarithm tematic sampling design as per Mishra [47, 48] was used to the base e. in conducting the ﬁeld inventory. *e [Dbh] of trees was (4) Simpson’s Diversity Index (D): Simpson diversity recorded at 1.3 m breast height of trees in each plot. A was calculated by methods of [47, 53, 54]: tape rule was used to determine the directions of the perpendicular baselines and also the length of these lines (3) SIDI � 1 − P , of dimension 140 m and 100 m, respectively. Along the i�1 140 m line transect, a peg with a tag was placed at each 20-m distance, and a straight line was cut through to where D is the dominance of the index, P is the reach the 50 m dividing line to indicate one side of the proportion of the ith species, and S is the number of 20 × 50 m rectangular plot. Seven 20 × 50-m plots were individuals of all the species. laid out on either side of this dividing line. All trees within each plot with a [Dbh] ≥ 7 cm were identiﬁed as (5) Species evenness: [E] was determined using Shan- per Mishra [47, 48], and their [Dbh] was measured using non’s equitability [EH] as stated by Kent and Coker a girthing tape. *e Spiegel Relascope was used to de- : termine values of elevation and depression that were J (4) used to determine the height of each tree whose [Dbh] � , Log(S) was measured. where S represents the species total number in each 2.3.1. Data Analysis. *e relative density and dominance community. were obtained using the formula given by [45, 47] (6) Importance Value Index (IVI): importance value methods. *e frequency and abundance of species were index (IVI) = relative frequency + relative densi- calculated using the standard methodology, as described ty + relative dominance. *e percentage value of by . Basal area of all the trees was calculated as per the relative frequency, relative density, and relative . dominance is summed up together, and this value Multidiversity indices were calculated by Shannon and is designated as IVI of the species . Species Wiener , Kent and Coker , and Gaines et al. , and relative density and dominance were obtained using Simpson diversity index by [47, 53, 54]. Species using the formula given by [45, 47, 48, 57] evenness [E] was determined using Shannon’s equitability methods: [EH] as stated by [49, 51, 55]. 4 International Journal of Forestry Research total number of individuals of species in all plots laid the density of a species � , total area of the plot laid density of a species relative density of a species � × 100, density of all the plots total basal area of each individual of a species in all plots laid dominance of a species � , total area of the plots laid (5) dominance of a species relative dominance of a species(%) � × 100, dominance of all the species total number of quadrat of occurrence of species frequency of species � , total number of plots laid frequency of a species relative frequency of species(%) � × 100. frequency of all the species cover of 12,54 m (Table 1). *e cumulative regeneration 3. Results status of the site is presented in Figure 3. *e negative slope 3.1.SpeciesCompositionAssessmentParameters. *e various value [− 1.943] of the SCD curve represents a fair regener- species composition ecological parameters such as species ation in the riparian forest . A positively weak rela- diversity, richness, density, frequency, basal cover, domi- tionship was seen to exit between height of trees and their nance, importance value index, and other diversity indices diameter at breast height (Figure 4). were calculated for the study site (Table 1) Summary of all diversity indices is presented in Table 2. 4. Discussion Based on recent scientiﬁc evidence, it is hypothesized that 3.2. Species Diversity and Richness. A total of 602 individuals riparian forests are rich in biodiversity due to their prox- [Dbh≥ 7 cm] of 49 species from 37 genera and 25 families were imity to constant water supply . Riparian forests that are recorded from the study area (Table 1). Funtumia africana and sustainably managed have the ability to provide water Trichilia heudelotii show dominance in almost all aspects of the support throughout the season in an adequate quantity. study area. Meliaceae, Apocynaceae, and Mimosaceae are the Gomez-Roxas et al.  stated that herbaceous woody plant dominant families with the highest individuals in the studied has the ability to slow and check ﬂoodwater ﬂow rate and at riparian forest ecosystem (Table 3). Combretaceae and Rhi- the same time protects soil from being eroded by the water zophoraceae were the only two families that had only one force. *e Taia riparian forest is moderately diverse when member each in the entire study area. *e Shannon diversity compared with recent species composition studies carried for the study area was 3.094, whereas the Simpson and out in the country in diﬀerent ecological zones . *e evenness diversity was 0.9303 and 0.4502, respectively. Other ﬁndings of the study reveal that though Taia Riparian forest diversity indices values are recorded in Table 2. is under massive pressure from the surrounding commu- nities for services such as fuelwood and charcoal production, 3.3. Species Growth Parameters. About 83% of the trees however, the forest shows signs of resilience and the po- documented had [Dbh] that ranges from 7 to 30 cm, whereas tential of maintaining rich biodiversity if protection or 39% of the trees had [Dbh] ranges within 7–12 cm (Figure 1). conservation methods are instituted (Figure 5). *e results *e total basal area in the sample plots is 5,605 m , whereas of this ﬁnding, however, disagree with the conclusions made the mean basal area for the plots was 0.114 m . *e size class by [23, 61] that riparian forest demonstrates a high level of biodiversity. Across the West African region, for example, distribution [SCD] of individuals in the study area showed that most of the individual species [38.9%] in the sampled Sambare´ et al.  recorded a total of 196 species repre- community fall within ≥7–12 cm size class, whereas senting 139 genera and 51 families in riparian forests within [20.76%] fell in size class of 13–18 cm (Figure 2). Plot 13 Burkina Faso. Additionally, Natta et al.  in Benin re- recorded higher mean [Dbh] of 33.0 cm, whereas plot 6 public recorded 1,002 species (about 1/3 of the estimated recorded the least of 14.5 cm. *e overall tree density for the Benin ﬂora from 120 families and 515 genera in 19 ha with study area was 414, 29 Indi/ha. *e height class distribution the most species-rich families being Leguminosae, Poaceae, of the site ranges from 5 m to 60 m (Figure 1). *e overall Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Cyperaceae, Asteraceae, and biovolume for the study site was 283,05 m , with a total basal Acanthaceae, respectively). Similarly, Pereki et al.  in International Journal of Forestry Research 5 Table 1: Species composition parameters and biovolume. Trees species Indiv PltsO A,Db Av ht ABA Dom D (ha) Freq BC (h) Rden RF Rdom IVI Bio-V Trichilie heudelotii 94 9 12.9 10.4 0.01 10.44 67.14 64.29 0.88 16.21 7.03 7.00 30.24 9.12 Funtumia africana 70 10 12.2 11.2 0.01 7.00 50.00 71.43 0.58 12.07 7.81 4.66 24.54 6.54 Myrianthus arboreus 43 8 11.0 9.9 0.01 5.38 30.71 57.14 0.29 7.41 6.25 2.33 15.99 2.89 Measa lanceolate 41 6 13.0 14.9 0.01 6.83 29.29 42.86 0.39 7.07 4.69 3.10 14.86 5.79 Albizia zygia 36 7 11.4 13.7 0.01 5.14 25.71 50.00 0.26 6.21 5.47 2.09 13.77 3.59 Pynanthus angolensis 31 4 13.6 18.3 0.01 7.75 22.14 28.57 0.32 5.34 3.13 2.56 11.03 5.88 Cola gigantean 30 7 10.5 14.4 0.01 4.29 21.43 50.00 0.19 5.17 5.47 1.48 12.12 2.67 Synsealus brevepics 28 6 16.1 13.4 0.02 4.67 20.00 42.86 0.41 4.83 4.69 3.25 12.76 5.45 Diealiun pobeguinii 25 5 15.3 15.8 0.02 5.00 17.86 35.71 0.33 4.31 3.91 2.62 10.83 5.18 Pterocarpus santaliniodes 22 4 18.4 22.2 0.03 5.50 15.71 28.57 0.42 3.79 3.13 3.33 10.25 9.27 Milicia regia 13 3 17.9 13.9 0.03 4.33 9.29 21.43 0.23 2.24 2.34 1.86 6.45 3.25 Chassalia carollifere 13 4 18.9 9.4 0.03 3.25 9.29 28.57 0.26 2.24 3.13 2.08 7.44 2.45 Spondias mombin 11 2 17.0 19.6 0.02 5.50 7.86 14.29 0.18 1.90 1.56 1.42 4.88 3.49 Cheistopholis patens 9 2 16.8 19.0 0.02 4.50 6.43 14.29 0.14 1.55 1.56 1.14 4.25 2.71 Ochthocosmus africanus 9 3 21.4 24.0 0.04 3.00 6.43 21.43 0.23 1.55 2.34 1.84 5.74 5.55 Dryptes aubrevillei 9 3 23.4 16.3 0.04 3.00 6.43 21.43 0.28 1.55 2.34 2.20 6.10 4.50 Ficus vogelii 9 2 49.0 31.8 0.19 4.50 6.43 14.29 1.21 1.55 1.56 9.67 12.78 38.53 Cordial platyfolis 8 2 23.2 17.1 0.04 4.00 5.71 14.29 0.24 1.38 1.56 1.93 4.87 4.13 Ceiba guineansis 7 2 19.4 32.1 0.03 3.50 5.00 14.29 0.15 1.21 1.56 1.18 3.95 4.74 Albezia ferrginea 6 1 24.1 23.2 0.05 6.00 4.29 7.14 0.20 1.03 0.78 1.56 3.37 4.53 Ficus mucoso 6 2 20.7 15.9 0.03 3.00 4.29 14.29 0.14 1.03 1.56 1.15 3.75 2.29 Cordial plathyrsa 5 2 23.4 19.0 0.04 2.50 3.57 14.29 0.15 0.86 1.56 1.22 3.65 2.92 Cola lataritia 5 2 26.3 17.3 0.05 2.50 3.57 14.29 0.19 0.86 1.56 1.55 3.97 3.35 Diacaena ovate 4 1 27.4 24.2 0.06 4.00 2.86 7.14 0.17 0.69 0.78 1.34 2.81 4.07 Sterculia trigacantha 4 3 25.6 20.3 0.05 1.33 2.86 21.43 0.15 0.69 2.34 1.17 4.21 2.98 Cassio sieberiana 4 2 31.4 27.2 0.08 2.00 2.86 14.29 0.22 0.69 1.56 1.76 4.02 6.01 Albizia adialthifolia 3 1 33.2 38.0 0.09 3.00 2.14 7.14 0.19 0.52 0.78 1.48 2.78 7.05 Canarium schweinfurthii 3 1 20.1 20.1 0.03 3.00 2.14 7.14 0.07 0.52 0.78 0.54 1.84 1.37 Diosbyros elliotii 2 1 36.2 25.8 0.10 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.15 0.34 0.78 1.17 2.30 3.79 Macaranga hurifola 2 2 32.4 34.1 0.08 1.00 1.43 14.29 0.12 0.34 1.56 0.94 2.85 4.01 Afzelia Africana 2 1 29.6 32.5 0.07 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.10 0.34 0.78 0.78 1.91 3.19 Diosbyros elliotii 2 1 41.4 31.0 0.13 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.19 0.34 0.78 1.53 2.66 5.96 Piptandeniastrum africanum 2 1 45.2 31.2 0.16 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.23 0.34 0.78 1.83 2.95 7.15 Dracaena fragans 2 1 39.3 16.4 0.12 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.17 0.34 0.78 1.38 2.51 2.84 Xyopia guintasi 2 1 31.3 32.1 0.08 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.11 0.34 0.78 0.88 2.00 3.53 Parinari excelsa 2 1 29.5 36.0 0.07 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.10 0.34 0.78 0.78 1.90 3.51 Anthocleista djalonensis 2 2 34.1 23.9 0.09 1.00 1.43 14.29 0.13 0.34 1.56 1.04 2.95 3.12 Klainedoxe gabonesis 2 1 47.5 15.3 0.18 2.00 1.43 7.14 0.25 0.34 0.78 2.02 3.14 3.87 Trichilia lantana 2 2 31.5 19.2 0.08 1.00 1.43 14.29 0.11 0.34 1.56 0.89 2.80 2.14 Diospyros heudelotii 1 1 17.0 22.0 0.02 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.02 0.17 0.78 0.13 1.08 0.36 Xylopia aethiopica 1 1 47.6 12.0 0.18 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.13 0.17 0.78 1.01 1.97 1.52 Terminalia ivorensis 1 1 53.4 52.1 0.22 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.16 0.17 0.78 1.28 2.23 8.33 Anisophylla laurina 1 1 50.7 27.2 0.20 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.14 0.17 0.78 1.15 2.10 3.92 Anthocleista nobilis 1 1 63.1 11.3 0.31 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.22 0.17 0.78 1.78 2.73 2.52 Alchonea cordifolia 1 1 74.3 12.4 0.43 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.31 0.17 0.78 2.47 3.42 3.84 Arthrocapus spp 1 1 91.1 51.6 0.65 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.47 0.17 0.78 3.71 4.67 24.01 Dracaena alliotii 1 1 95.8 39.2 0.72 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.51 0.17 0.78 4.11 5.06 20.17 Dracaena heudelotii 1 1 87.2 33.9 0.60 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.43 0.17 0.78 3.40 4.35 14.45 Octhococosmos africanus 1 1 21.5 18.7 0.04 1.00 0.71 7.14 0.03 0.17 0.78 0.21 1.16 0.48 Total 602 14 414.29 914.29 12.54 100.00 100.0 100.00 300.00 283.05 Note. Indiv means individual trees; Plt,O � plots of occurrence; A,Db � average diameter at breast height; Av,ht � average height; ABA � average basal area 2 2 (m ); Dorm � dominance; BC (h) � basal cover (m ); Freq � frequency (percentage); D (h) � density (individuals per ha); Rden � relative density; Rdom � relative dominance; RF � relative frequency; IVI � importance value index; Bio � bio-volume (m ). Togo also recorded a total of 258 plant species belonging to Meliaceae, Apocynaceae, and Mimosaceae. Trichilia heu- 119 genera from 63 families in Abdoulaye Wildlife Reserve delotii from the Meliaceae family recorded the highest dry forests. In East Africa, Mligo  in Tanzania reported a number of the individual followed by Rauvolﬁa vomitoria total of 261 plant species from 68 families in the Wami River from the Apocynaceae family and Fucus mucosa from the system with a Shannon diversity index in the range of Moraceae family. *e abundance of these species in the 1.63–2.94. *e dominant plant families recorded were study area is believed to be attributed to their strong 6 International Journal of Forestry Research Table 2: Summary of multidiversity indices of all quantiﬁable parameters. Diversity indices Values of indices Lower Upper Taxa_S 49 41 49 Individuals 602 602 602 Dominance_D 0.06972 0.06318 0.08067 Simpson_1-D 0.9303 0.9193 0.9368 Shannon_H 3.094 2.959 3.144 Evenness_e ^H/S 0.4502 0.4286 0.5169 Brillouin 2.954 2.834 3.006 Menhinick 2.035 1.702 2.035 Margalef 7.544 6.286 7.544 Equitability_J 0.7949 0.7792 0.8248 Table 3: Numbers of individual species collected, their plant families, and botanical names. Family Genera Scientiﬁc name Individual trees Species per family Anacardiaceae 1 Spondias mombin 11 1 Albizia, Ferruginea Albezia zygia Mimosaceae 2 47 4 Albezia adianthifolia Piptadensiastrum Africanum Trichilia, Heudilotii Meliaceae 1 96 2 Trichilia lantana Afzelia Africana Dialum, Pubeguinii Caesalpiniaceae 3 38 4 Dialim guineasis Cassiavsieberia Rauvolﬁa vomitoria Apocyanaceae 3 Funtumia Africana 72 3 Alstonia boonei Sapotaceae 1 Synsepalous brevepis 28 1 Cleistopholis patens Annonaceae 2 Xylopia aethiopica 12 3 Xylopia quintasii Cardia platythyrsa Boraginaceae 1 14 2 Cardia platyfolis Ficus mucoso Ficus vogelii Moraceae 3 71 4 Melicia regia Merianthus arboreus Ixonanthaceae 1 Octhocosmos africanus 9 1 Dyospyros eloitii Ebanaceae 1 3 2 Dyrospyros heudelotii Myristicaceae 1 Pycnanthus angolensis 31 1 1 Anthocleista vogelii Loganiaceae 4 2 Antholeista djaloneasis Myrsinaceae 1 Maesa lanceolata 41 1 Dracaena alliotii Dracaena ovate Dracaenaceae 1 9 4 Dracaena fragans Dracaena heudelotii Bombacaceae 1 Ceiba pentandra 8 1 Burseraceae 1 Canarium schweinfurthii 3 1 Rubiaceae 1 Chassalia carolifera 13 1 Papilionaceae 1 Pterocarpus santalinoides 23 1 International Journal of Forestry Research 7 Table 3: Continued. Family Genera Scientiﬁc name Individual trees Species per family Cola lateritia Sterculiaceae 2 Cola gigantean 39 3 Sterculia trigacantha Drypetes aubrevillei Euphorbiaceae 2 11 2 Macaranga hurifolia Rosaceae 1 Parinari excelsa 2 1 Irvingiaceae 1 Klainedoxe gabonensis 2 1 Combretaceae 1 Terminalia ivorensis 1 1 Rhizophoraceae 1 Anisophyllea laurina 1 1 25 37 49 602 49 Dbh class Figure 1: Dbh class distribution of trees. 12°0′0′′W Map showing Njala Taia Riparian forest Njala Taia riparian forest Moyamba 8°0′0′′N 8°0′0′′N 0 5 10 20 30 40 kilometers 12°0′0′′W Study Area Kori Chiefdom Taia Rivers Moyamba District Figure 2: Map showing Taia River and its Riparian Forest. adaptability characteristic as well as their lesser ability to be favorable for certain species than the rest of the species. In utilized as ﬁrewood, charcoal, pole, or timber. Appiah  other forest ecosystems in West Africa, Fabaceae, Meliaceae, and Rad et al. , however, warn that diversity is on the Rubiaceae, Sterculiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Combretaceae, decrease when few species dominate an area. It is most likely Mimosaceae, Ebenaceae, Moraceae, and Bombacaceae were that the edaphic condition of the study area is more recorded as the most dominant plant families in Burkina Taia River Number of trees 7–12 13–18 19–24 25–30 31–36 37–42 43–48 49–54 55–60 61–66 67–72 73–78 79–84 85–90 91–96 97–102 <102 8 International Journal of Forestry Research Height class Figure 3: Height class distribution of trees. y = 0.2628x + 14.225 R = 0.2927 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Diameter at breast height (cm) Figure 4: Relationship between height and diameter at breast height. Ln (f/class interval) y = –1.943 ln (x) + 4.6139 R = 0.9374 02468 10 12 14 16 18 –1 –2 Ln (f/class interval) Log. (Ln(f/class interval)) Figure 5: SCD curve showing regeneration status based on the log of frequency over a class interval. Ln � log; F � frequency. Faso , whereas Anogeissus. leiocarpa, Pouteria. Alnifo- because of intensive biotic disturbance and the collection of liavar, alnifolia, Spondias mombin, Pterocarpus erinaceus, nontimber products, its biodiversity will decline at a rate and C. giganteava were the most dominant plant species faster than it can regenerate. According to Houehanou et al. recorded in Togo . Reynal-Roques  acknowledges , bushﬁres have proven to have adverse eﬀects on trees that these families and their respective species are common species and hence aﬀecting its density, especially in lower in most tropical rain forest regions around the world. regions. Additionally, Pereki et al.  stated that social *e rationale for the diﬀerences plant diversity across the pressure open gap in the forest canopies through tree cutting diﬀerent riparian forests in West Africa could be attributed or logging, and this may expose the lower layer to ﬁre and to anthropogenic activities such as logging, pole harvesting, other threats. fuelwood and charcoal production, wildﬁres, and proximity Shannon index of diversity is an information index; it to settlement . Across Africa, in general, biodiversity is confounds two components of diversity, species richness, under severe threats with very little being done in some and evenness . *e diversity value in the current study countries to mitigate the situation . When the demand was recorded to be 3.094, which is similar to (3.2) the value for forest ecosystem services supersedes its carrying capacity recorded by Fayiah et al. . *e Shannon Wiener value of Height (m) Number of trees <5 6–10 11–15 16–20 21–25 26–30 31–35 36–40 41–45 46–50 51–55 56–60 International Journal of Forestry Research 9 assessing the growth of vegetation , and they help us Taia riparian forest is within the suggested or expected range as stated by , which is 1.5 and 3.5 as it rarely goes above understand the trend of forest development. Size class distribution has been long used to study forest dynamics, 5.0. Compared with the Simpson index for diversity, the Shannon–Wiener diversity index indicates the diversity of changes in species composition, and regeneration . species in the community. *e recorded value is a clear From our results, it could be seen that the riparian forest is indication of the diversity potential of the Taia riparian made up of mostly poles and sapling species in nature forest; hence, if conservation measures are put in place, (Figures 1–3). *ere is a signiﬁcantly weak relationship natural regeneration is a possibility. Additionally, the between height and diameter of trees species recorded in the Simpson and evenness values of (0,9) is encouraging for a study area (Figure 4). *is implies that, as the height in- forest close to settlements like Taia riparian forests. *ough creases, the diameter at breast height also increases. Simi- from diﬀerent ecologies, the Shannon diversity values within larly, the biovolume values estimated depict that the forest is depleted and the current vegetation is young, with majority forests in the West African subregion as seen in  for Aﬁ River Forest Reserve and Oban Forest Reserve (Nigeria) plant species being categorized as poles. In comparison, Fayiah et al.  recorded a volume of 391.78 m were 3.827 and 3.795 and it is a signal of diversity resilience in Kambui in these ecosystems. Elsewhere, Sahoo et al.  also Forest Reserve as compared with 284.0 m (Table 1) in this recorded higher Shannon and Simpson diversity index of study. Soares et al.  and Moores et al.  stated that for 3.66 and 0.10, respectively, in Odisha, India. *e size and the sustainable utilization of available forest resources, the forest conservation policies of India are believed to be far volume is essential information. Additionally, Dia- eﬀective than those of other countries in the sub-African mantopoulou  ascertain that volume is the most used region; hence, higher diversity is expected. measure of wood quantity to satisfy man’s ﬁnancial desire. *e [Dbh] decrease, as seen in (Figure 1), automatically aﬀected the total biovolume of the study area. Also, it is 4.1.ComparingtheRiparianDiversityandOtherEcosystemsin believed that species abundance and diversity directly have Sierra Leone. *e ecological landscape of Sierra Leone is links with the biovolume, and thus sound restoration and diverse with unique ﬂora biodiversity across diﬀerent community conservation projects will improve both the ecosystems . A recent study conducted in Kambui forest biovolume and species abundance of riparian forests. in the Eastern part of Sierra Leone by Fayiah et al.  Characterization of SCD serves and is a means of projecting recorded 36 trees species, 22 families from 122 individual population trends and to some extent past trends , and trees within an area of 1.0 ha. Based on species richness and its interpretation has been useful in assessing the state of the abundance, Taia riparian forest is slightly more biologically population for management purpose [77–81]. *e negative diverse than the Kambui forest. *is could be attributed to slope value for the SCD curve indicates that there are more many biotic and abiotic factors in play along the diﬀerent individuals in the lower size class, and thus the forest in the ecologies. Similarly, weak forest protection policies are riparian zone of Taia River is regenerating successfully paving ways for more forest exploitation across Sierra (Figure 5). However, the height and diameter values are Leone with Taia riparian forest not being an exception. good indicators for the classiﬁcation of forest types in any Contrastingly, a study conducted a decade ago by Kargbo given ecosystem. *e SCD curve slope shows that more plant  recorded 132 plant families within an area of 1.01 ha in species fell in the sapling or pole category, indicating that the same Kambui forest. Alternately, Bangura  reported tree species in the study area are smaller [Dbh] in size. *e (58) plant families from 1150 individual trees in an area of absence of larger big trees implies that logging is not taking 1.40 ha in the Singamba forest reserve within Moyamba place in this forest due to tree sizes. District, Southern Sierra Leone. However, it is not clear if the Singamba forest reserve still maintains such diversity 4.3. <e Impacts of Human Activities on Taia and Other Ri- over the years due to the trend of deforestation in the parian Forests in Sierra Leone. Riparian forests render great country. Although the forests ecosystem of the study area support to rural livelihood in the form of wood energy, diﬀers from other forests ecosystems, mentioned above, the medicines, poles, and other nontimber forest products climate, soil type, anthropogenic pattern, and demands [82, 83]. Based on these ecosystem services derived, its ex- from surrounding communities are more or less the same. ploitation has skyrocketed, especially in Sierra Leone. NBSAP *e occurrence of diverse species within the same district  report stated that biodiversity loss in Sierra Leone is mostly and other parts of the country depicts unique ﬂora bio- attributed to deforestation drivers such as poor mining diversity and terrestrial ecosystems. Fayiah et al.  practices and farming, bushﬁres, overgrazing, lack of re- suggested that high rainfall potential, sunlight, soil type, sources and poverty, population pressure [1, 4], inappropriate anthropogenic actions, and topography could be the cause policies, institutional weakness, and socioeconomic factors. of variation in ﬂora diversity in diﬀerent ecologies in Sierra However, these anthropogenic disturbance factors are not Leone. Exceptionally, Gola forest reserve is the only consistent across regions or ecosystem  in Sierra Leone. remaining and adequately protected natural forest in Sierra On the contrary, Mart´ın et al.  highlighted factors such as Leone with rich biodiversity. road construction, dumping of solid and industrial waste, agricultural expansion, and modiﬁcation of ﬂuvial terraces 4.2. Growth Assessment Parameters. *e diameter at breast were some of the factors that led to the deterioration of the height and a total height of trees are critical parameters in riparian forests. Factors such as topography, settlement 10 International Journal of Forestry Research proximity, soil type, weak forest policies, and primitive regeneration potential due to the climatic pattern and shifting cultivation methods are the primary culprit of forest abundant soil water content in the study area. *e assess- resources exploitation in the study area. Generally, the natural ment of species composition, growth, and biovolume of Taia nature and ability of Taia riparian forests to maintain its riparian forest highlight the importance of community- vegetation in both seasons attracts roaming animals browsing, based conservation policies and serve as a baseline for future stimulate poles harvesting, and fuelwood and charcoal assessment of riparian forest ecosystems in Sierra Leone. For burning across the forest. According to a research done by a continuous supply of essential ecosystem services, diﬀerent Fayiah et al. , Spratt et al. , and USDA Forest Service stalk holders and nongovernmental organizations concern , approximately more than 80% of Sierra Leone’s pop- with environmental management and biodiversity conser- ulation depend on fuelwood and charcoal for daily household vation should partner with local indigenes. Based on the energy. *e high demand of forest resources for daily energy ﬁndings of this study, if appropriate conservation measures needs has placed huge pressure on forest across Sierra Leone are not instituted urgently, Taia Riparian forest maybe at the and has resulted in forest reserve exploitation nationwide. *e verge of being reduced to a farm bush as a result of poles, fuelwood, and nonwood forest products collection. Addi- level of exploitation of the Taia riparian forest is believed to have a direct link with trees diameter size and height of trees tionally, charcoal burning has emerged as a big threat to enumerated in this study. *e lower number of trees in higher vegetation growth and has reduced catchment areas along size class (Figure 1) indicates that Taia riparian forest is streams in Kori Chiefdom. *erefore, urgent strategic undergoing exploitation constantly. However, favorable soil conservation and protection measures should be adopted to nutrients and moisture conditions within the forests provided prevent further degradation of forest ecosystems along river by the riparian zone and aided with seed dispersal through the banks in the district and other ecologies in Sierra Leone. water-body support high regeneration in the study area (Figure 3). With proper protection and awareness about Data Availability sustainable utilization of the wood resources, the diversity of Data for this article will be made available upon request. the forest can be restored. Alternately, the increase in the density of trees is strongly believed to be connected with the proximity of Taia riparian Conflicts of Interest forests to the stream, canopy pattern, and temperature of the *e authors declare that they have no conﬂicts of interest. immediate environment. Scientiﬁc evidence has proven that the diversity of species is mostly dependent on community stability, interference level, and adaptability potential of the Acknowledgments species . Settlement proximity, socioeconomic status, *is research was ﬁnancially supported by the grants from and occupation of nearby indigenes play a crucial role in the the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientiﬁc Expedition and Re- exploitation of the Taia riparian forests. Typically, riparian search Program (2019QZKK0307), National Key R&D forests are smaller in size, but their ecological, economic Program of China (2016YFC0501906), Qinghai Provincial beneﬁts are enormous to local indigenes . Natta et al. Key R&D Program (2019-SF-145 and 2018-NK-A2), and  noted that resources availability in riparian forests for Qinghai Innovation Platform Construction Project (2017- utilization by neighboring inhabitants must satisfy their ZJ-Y20). basic needs and serve as a source of income as well. *e absence of community forest protection by-law within the Kori Chiefdom contributes to more biotic pressure on the References forests.  N. Weber, R. Wistuba, J. Astrin, and J. Decher, “New records of bats and terrestrial small mammals from the Seli River in 5. Conclusion Sierra Leone before the construction of a hydroelectric dam,” Biodiversity Data Journal, vol. 7, Article ID e34754, 2019. 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International Journal of Forestry Research – Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Published: Nov 18, 2020
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