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Changes in Forest Composition, Edaphic Factors and Exploitation Pressure Between Edge and Interior Habitats in The Kimboza Forest in Morogoro Region, Tanzania

David Sylvester Kacholi

Abstract

Biodiversity loss is linked to the destruction and fragmentation of tropical forest ecosystems. This study was conducted at Kimboza forest located in Morogoro region, Tanzania. The main goal was to compare the forest edge and interior habitats in terms of tree species richness, stand structure, soil moisture, organic matter and exploitation pressure. All trees with DBH ≥ 10cm were sampled from 6 plots of 0.04ha placed in each habitat. A total of 217 individuals from 49 tree species and 21 families were recorded in both habitats. Of the total recorded species, 37% were common, while 22% and 41% occurred exclusively at the edge and interior, respectively. The species richness, tree density, basal area, soil organic matter and moisture were significantly higher in the forest interior than the edge. On the contrary, the number of stumps per hectare was significantly higher in the edge (3.8) than interior (1.8). The Sørensen coefficient of similarity among the two habitats was 0.54, signifying the presence of uniqueness among the habitats. In summary, the findings suggest that the two habitats are unique and different in terms of species composition, species richness, stand structure, soil moisture, organic matter and anthropogenic exploitation pressure.

Keywords

basal area, biodiversity, fragmentation, forest edge, species richness, stand structure

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