Extent of species diversity loss in Uluguru nature reserve, Tanzania: implication for payment for ecosystem services scheme

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University of Dar es Salaam
The present study was aimed at assessing the extent of threat to ecosystem services in the Uluguru Nature Reserve as a basis for establishing an ecosystem service scheme. Factors reflecting forest health: species diversity (including species evenness and richness) and species composition were studied in four selected habitats: pristine forest, forest border (a 20 m strip from the forest border inward), fallowland and cultivated land. One transects 2 km long was established in each habitat. Along each transects, 40 sampling plots were established at 50 m a part. Size of plots followed Modified Whittaker method where largest (20 x25 m2) was used to sample trees. Nested plots of size 2x5m2 and 1x1m2 were used to assess shrubs and herbs, respectively. One hundred and forty three plant species were recorded in total. In terms of species richness, the pristine forest had the highest number of species (79), followed by the forest border with (76), then fallowland with (75) and cultivated land (8). Despite the little difference in species richness between border and fallowland, the two habitats shared less than 50% of species. It was also observed that there was significant difference in species diversity in relatively pristine forest and forest border but the diversity in the latter did not differ significantly from that of the fallowland. Similarly, diversity at the level of plant forms across the selected habitats also showed a similar pattern. Pristine forest exhibited a higher evenness than the fallowland, border and farmland too. In addition, richness of the border and fallow was not significantly different but pristine forest exhibited a significantly higher richness than the two habitats. Based on this fact thus it can be concluded that taking loss of forest cover to be the only evidence of threat during PES establishment is underestimating the extent of the threat to biodiversity services. The fact that the forest border area in Uluguru seem to be as threatened like the fallowland suggests that the threat to ecosystem services extends to this part of the forest and thus should be considered threatened when establishing a PES scheme too. The pristine forest might be the only part of the forest that is relatively safe.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH195.T34I42)
Species diversity, Uluguru Nature Reserve (Tanzania), Tanzania
Ikaku, C.T. (2015). Extent of species diversity loss in Uluguru nature reserve, Tanzania: implication for payment for ecosystem services scheme, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.