Woody vegetation structure and composition in Mapembe Nature Reserve, eastern Zimbabwe|
NEVER, MUBOKO; MARVELLOUS, R. MUSHONGA; NUNURAI, CHIBUWE; CLAYTON, MASHAPA & EDSON, GANDIWA
We assessed woody vegetation composition and structure in Mapembe Nature Reserve, eastern Zimbabwe. Woody vegetation was sampled during the period May-June in 2012. Using a stratified random sampling design, we delineated the study area into three strata; plains, mountain and wetland areas. We recorded a total of 1 443 woody plants representing 17 woody species assessed from 30 sample plots. Our results from Kruskal Wallis-H test showed significance differences in plant height, canopy volume, and tree density across the study strata (P < 0.05). In contrast, no significant differences were observed in basal area, shrub canopy volume, shrub density and woody species diversity. Our study results highlighted woody vegetation degradation on wetlands and mountains of Mapembe Nature Reserve, which was attributed to anthropogenic factors. The study recommends in-depth woodland inventory, collaborative arrangements with the local surrounding human communities and improved law enforcement strategies.
Anthropogenic impacts, Miombo woodland, mountain habitat, plains, wetlands, woody vegetation