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Open Access April 29, 2024 Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS) BibTeX

Floristic composition of vascular epiphytes in a disturbed forest of the Douala- Edea National Park (Cameroon)

Abstract The Douala-Edea National Park is a coastal protected area that opens to the Atlantic Ocean, and contains an abundant wildlife which finds a privilege habitat there, and certain taxa such as epiphytes, which are of particular interest for conservation. In many tropical forests, vascular epiphytes are one of the richest taxa, with major impacts on the nutrient and hydrological cycles. The aim of this research was to study the effect of the disturbance of habitat on the floristic composition of vascular epiphytes in the Douala-Edea National Park. This study was carried out between January - April 2021 in three types of disturbed habitats at the northern part of the park. Three plots of 100 m × 100 m dimensions were laid out across three ecosystems along the Sanaga river. The sampling method consisted in the direct observation of five adjacent transects of 100 m x 20 m dimensions inside each plot. Epiphytes species were evaluated on all trees of DBH ≥10 cm. Epiphytes' life-forms and the position on the host trees occupied by the epiphytes were also recorded. A total of 18 species belonging to 16 genera and 13 families were identified. Culcasia sp. was the most common species with a relative frequency of 30.27%. Biological indicators were represented by Ferns, with four species, and Orchidaceae, with one species. [...] Read more.
The Douala-Edea National Park is a coastal protected area that opens to the Atlantic Ocean, and contains an abundant wildlife which finds a privilege habitat there, and certain taxa such as epiphytes, which are of particular interest for conservation. In many tropical forests, vascular epiphytes are one of the richest taxa, with major impacts on the nutrient and hydrological cycles. The aim of this research was to study the effect of the disturbance of habitat on the floristic composition of vascular epiphytes in the Douala-Edea National Park. This study was carried out between January - April 2021 in three types of disturbed habitats at the northern part of the park. Three plots of 100 m × 100 m dimensions were laid out across three ecosystems along the Sanaga river. The sampling method consisted in the direct observation of five adjacent transects of 100 m x 20 m dimensions inside each plot. Epiphytes species were evaluated on all trees of DBH ≥10 cm. Epiphytes' life-forms and the position on the host trees occupied by the epiphytes were also recorded. A total of 18 species belonging to 16 genera and 13 families were identified. Culcasia sp. was the most common species with a relative frequency of 30.27%. Biological indicators were represented by Ferns, with four species, and Orchidaceae, with one species. The epiphytes species richness was highest in the low disturbed habitat (13 species), and lowest in the highly disturbed habitat (8 species). Strict epiphytes were highly recorded in the low disturbed habitat (6 species), and were absent in the highly disturbed habitat. Hemi-epiphytes were the commonest life-form (12 species) in the highly disturbed habitat, and have been defined as indicators of the perturbation of the habitat. Canopy was mostly sollicitated by epiphytes in the low disturbed habitat (66.25%) than the moderate disturbed habitat (49.85%), and highly disturbed habitat (30.66%). It has been found that the different forest sites have an influence on the typology of epiphytic species, and therefore, epiphytic flora should be managed for the conservation of the biodiversity in tropical forests.
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Keyword:  Jean Lagarde Betti
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