Abstract                 Volume:3  Issue-7  Year-2016          Original Research Articles

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The Ecological Distribution of Wild Prunus africana in Mount Cameroon National Park, Cameroon
E.M. Melle*, A. F. Nkwatoh and R. A. Nsadzetsen
Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of science, University of Buea, Cameroon
*Corresponding author
Abstract:

Tropical montane forests contain some of the world’s richest plant communities but knowledge of the population and distribution of their diversity is still fragmentary. Among such species is Prunus africana which is of great economic and health value to forest communities and the world at large. The aim of the study was to evaluate the abundance, pattern of distribution, bark thickness and health status of Prunus Africana along elevational gradient on the slopes of mount Cameroon. In this study, three classes of elevations (1700 -2000m, 2000-3000m and 3000m and above) were selected using a digitized map of mount Cameroon and a global positioning receptor (Garmin GPSMAP 60CX). Sampling plots were selected in three different blocks of the mountain using management inventory method under adaptive cluster sampling technique.  Five square plots measuring 100m by 100m were examined in three different classes of elevation. In each plot, record of all Prunus trees, diameter at breast height, bark thickness and health status were examined. ANOVA, Correlation, and Chi-square were the statistical models used in the data analysis. The result showed that a total number of 177 trees were recorded from the entire national park surface area (450,000m2). The height density (6.2 stem/ha) was recorded at the lowest class of elevation while the least density (1.2 stem/ha) was recorded at the highest class of elevation. It also revealed that variations in elevation accounted for 0.001cm change in bark thickness. The highest mean bark thickness (1.12cm) was recorded at the highest class of elevation while the least mean bark thickness (0.86cm) was recorded at the least elevation.  The highest mean diameter at breast height (51.22cm) was registered at the highest class of elevation while the least mean diameter at breast height (36.57cm) was recorded at the lowest class of elevation. Healthy trees had the highest population (83.87%) at the lowest class of elevation while the least population (61.11%) was found at the highest class of elevation.

Keywords: Mount Cameroon National Park,Natural forests,Plant communities,Prunus africana
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How to cite this article:

Melle, E. M., Nkwatoh, A. F., Nsadzetsen, R. A., 2016. The ecological distribution of wild Prunus africana in Mount Cameroon National Park, Cameroon.Int.J.Curr.Res.Biosci.Plantbiol. 3(7): 73-80. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.20546/ijcrbp.2016.307.011