Woody species diversity, composition, structure and carbon storage of a dry evergreen montane forest of Essimingor Nature Forest Reserve in Tanzania




Abstract. Mwakalukwa EE, Mwakisu A, Maliondo SMS. 2023. Woody species diversity, composition, structure and carbon storage of a dry evergreen montane forest of Essimingor Nature Forest Reserve in Tanzania. Intl J Trop Drylands 7: 26-36. The biodiversity status of flora and fauna of many forests found on small protruding and isolated hills in most parts of dry areas in Tanzania is largely less studied. Their contribution to climate mitigation options also remains largely unknown. This study assessed the woody species diversity, composition, structure and carbon stocks potential of a dry evergreen montane forest of Essimingor Nature Forest Reserve in Tanzania. The vegetation data were collected from 23 concentric sample plots of 5m, 15m, and 20m radius laid systematically across the entire forest area of 6,100 ha. A total of 54 trees and shrubs species belonging to 29 families were identified. Diversity indices indicated the forest to have a high diversity of woody species. The most important species were Cassipourea malosana, Diospyros abyssinica and Drypetes natalensis. Stand structure comprised 288±173 stems ha-1, basal area of 11.47±7.23 m2ha-1 and standing volume of 27.3±16.3 m3ha-1. The mean above-ground and below-ground carbon stocks were 56.93±34.60 Mg C ha-1 and 34.71±19.72 Mg C ha-1, respectively. The observed high species diversity and carbon density signify the importance of conservation efforts bestowed in this reserve. Quantification of other carbon pools for estimation of the total carbon stock potential of this forest is recommended.


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