A botanical inventory and diversity assessment of Mt. Marsabit forest, a sub-humid montane forest on the arid lands of northern Kenya

Date

2007

Journal Title

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Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley

Abstract

A botanical inventory and diversity of trees, shrubs (≥5 cm diameter at breast height [dbh]), herbs,climbers and lianas was assessed in plots (154) of 20 × 5 m in Mt. Marsabit forest, northern Kenya. Werecorded 52 species of trees and shrubs, twelve species of herbs and six species of climbers and lianas.They belonged to 35 families and 64 genera. Rubiaceae was the richest family with nine species followedby Euphorbiaceae (six), Oleaceae (five), Rutaceae (four), Capparaceae, Labiatae and Leguminosae (threeeach). The rest of the families were represented by one or two species. Rinorea convallarioides (Bak.f.)Eyles ssp. marsabitensis Grey-Wilson (Violaceae), an endemic species, and Drypetes gerrardii Hutch.(Euphorbiaceae), were the two most important species, accounting for more than third of the combinedimportance value. Species diversity indices were 2.735 (Shannon–Wiener), 0.88 (Simpson's) and 0.296(Evenness). There was a strong evidence of disturbance arising from anthropogenic and wildlife foragingactivities. This inventory has affirmed Mt. Marsabit forest as a unique habitat for several endemic, rare,threatened or vulnerable plant species, which should be conserved.

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Citation

African Journal of Ecology 46, 39–45