Savannas Highlands of Cameroon: Floristic Composition, Functional Traits and Conservation Status

Main Article Content

Wouokoue Taffo Junior Baudoin
Avana Tientcheu Marie Louise
Froumsia Moksia
Hamawa Yougouda
Christiana Ngyete Nyikob Mbogue
Nguetsop Victor Francois
Fonkou Theophile

Abstract

Background: The savannas flora has been widely neglected in science and conservation policy throughout the world, so that this biodiversity component remains largely unknown.

Aims: The objective of this study was to assess floristic diversity, ecological characteristics and conservation status of the savannas of the mounts Bamboutos (Western Cameroon).

Study Design: The savannas studied were located in the Eastern slope of the mounts Bamboutos, in the Western Highlands of Cameroon. The natural savannas ecosystems had a significant biodiversity, a level of disturbance by local people like overgrazing, bush fires, collection of fuelwoods, etc.

Place and Duration of Study: The field work was conducted in the Eastern slope of the mounts Bamboutos (5°30ʼ - 5°45ʼ N and 10°03ʼ - 10°15ʼ E) between May and November 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Methodology: Plant species identified were characterized by floristic diversity and life traits (habit, life form, leaf size, type of diaspore, dispersal syndromes and phytogeographical affinities).

Results: The flora consisted of 231 taxa belonging to 154 genera and 70 families. Poaceae (39 species), Asteraceae (37 species) and Fabaceae (20 species) were the dominant families. The most frequent life forms were phanerophytes (41.12%) followed by chamaephytes (21.64%) and therophytes (20.34%). Leaf size classes of plants consisted of mesophylls (30.73%), nanophylls (25.54%) and microphylls (25.10%). Anemochory (45.88%) was dominated dispersal mode followed by zoochory (30.73%). Investigation of the geographical distribution of plant species indicated that 27.27 % belonged to the afrotropical zone and 18.61% pantropical species. Four species were endemic and four subendemic to Cameroon dorsal. 17 species were threatened according to IUCN red list.

Conclusion: Protection and conservation of natural resources of savannas is crucial for sustainable utilization of accessible natural flora so, it is strongly suggested to overgrazing and agricultural activities.

Keywords:
Cameroon, endemic species, ecological characteristics, floristic composition, mounts Bamboutos, savannas.

Article Details

How to Cite
Baudoin, W. T. J., Louise, A. T. M., Moksia, F., Yougouda, H., Mbogue, C. N. N., Francois, N. V., & Theophile, F. (2020). Savannas Highlands of Cameroon: Floristic Composition, Functional Traits and Conservation Status. Asian Journal of Research in Botany, 4(4), 81-99. Retrieved from https://journalajrib.com/index.php/AJRIB/article/view/30128
Section
Original Research Article

References

Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Da Fonseca GA, Kent J. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature. 2000;403:853–858.

Burgess ND, Balmford A, Cordeiro NJ, Fjeldså J, Küper W, Rahbek C, Sanderson EW, Scharlemann JPW, Sommer JH, Williams PH. Correlations among species distributions, human density and human infrastructure across the high biodiversity tropical mountains of Africa. Biological Conservation. 2007;134:164-177.

Letouzey R. Notice de la carte phytogeographique du Cameroun au 1/500 000. 2. Région afromontagnarde et étage submontagnard. Institut de la Carte Internationale de la Végétation- IRA (Herbier National), Yaoundé, Cameroun. 1985;61.

Mason NW, de Bello F. Functional diversity: A tool for answering challenging ecological questions. Journal of Vegetation Science. 2013;24:777-780.

Illa E, Carrillo E, Ninot JM. Patterns of plant traits in Pyrenean alpine vegetation. Flora-Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants. 2006;201(7):528–546.

Gentili R, Bacchetta G, Fenu G, Cogoni D, Abeli T, Rossi G, Salvatore MC, Baroni C, Citterio S. From cold to warm-stage refugia for boreo-alpine plants in southern European and Mediterranean mountains: The last chance to survive or an opportunity for speciation? Biodiversity. 2015;16:247–261.

Jacques-Félix H. Une réserve botanique à prévoir au Cameroun. Le sommet des Monts Bamboutos. Bulletin Museum National Histoire Naturel de Paris, série 2 H. 1945;506-513.

Portères R. Climat et végétation de la chaîne des monts Bambuttos (Cameroun). Bulletin Société Botanique de France. 1946;93:352–360.

Wouokoue TJB, Anjah GM, Nguetsop VF, Fonkou T. Floristic diversity of the savannah ecosystems in three altitudinal zones of the Bambouto Mountains, West Cameroon. Cameroon Journal of Biological and Biochemical Sciences. 2017;25:52-59.

Wouokoue TJB, Nguetsop VF, Fonkou T. Floristic diversity of Western Highlands savannas of Cameroon. International Journal of Current Research in Biosciences and Plant Biology. 2017;4:7-13

Wouokoue TJB, Avana TML, Hamawa Y, Nguetsop VF, Tsobou R, Ngnignindiwou MJ. Floristic diversity and management of fodder resources of the natural pastures of the Savanna Highlands of Western Cameroon. Journal of Experimental Sciences. 2020;11:28-34

Raunkiaer C. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Clarendon Press, Oxford, London. 1934;632.

Ohsawa M. Latitudinal comparison of altitudinal changes in forest structure, leaf-type, and species richness in humid monsoon Asia. Vegetatio. 1995;121:3- 10.

Dansereau P, Lems K. The grading of dispersal types in plant communities and their ecological significance. Contributions de l’Institute de Botanique de l’Université de Montreal. 1957;71:1-52.

White F. La végétation de l'Afrique. Mémoire accompagnant la carte de l'Afrique, UNESCO-AETFAT/UNSO, ORSTOM-UNESCO, Paris. 1986;384.

Onana JM. The vascular plants of Cameroon. A taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments. Compiled and edited by Jean Michel Onana. 2011;195.

Ramirez N, Nelda, Dezzeo N, Chacon N. Floristic composition, plant species abundance, and soil properties of montane savannas in the Gran Sabana, Venezuela. Flora. 2007;202:316–327.

Akossoua FK, Adou YCY, Ipou JI, Kamanzi K. Diversité floristique des zones côtières pâturées de la Côte d’Ivoire: cas du cordon littoral Port-Bouët-Grand-Bassam (Abidjan). Science et Nature. 2010;7(1):69-86.

Kouassi AF, Koffi KJ, N'Goran KSB, Ipou IJ. Potentiel de production fourragère d'une zone pâturée menacée de destruction: cas du cordon littoral Port Bouët et Grand Bassam. Journal of Applied Biosciences. 2014;82:7403-7410.

Masharabu T, Noret N, Lejoly J, Bigendako MJ, Bogaert J. Etude comparative des paramètres floristiques du Parc National de la Ruvubu, Burundi. Geography-Ecology-Tropic. 2010;34:29– 44.

Qureshi R, Shaheen H, Ilyas M, Ahmed W, Munir M. Phytodiversity and plant life of Khanpur Dam, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany. 2014;46(3):841-849.

Grime JP. Competitive exclusion in herbaceous vegetation. Nature. 1973;242: 344-347.

Lepart J, Escarre J. La succession végétale, mécanismes et modèles : analyse bibliographique. Bulletin Ecologique. 1983;14(3):133-178

Grime JP. Vegetation classification by reference to strategies. Nature. 1974;250: 26-31.

Khan M, Hussain F, Musharaf S. Floristic composition and biological characteristics of the vegetation of Sheikh Maltoon town District Mardan, Pakistan. Annual Review & Research in Biology. 2013;3(1):31-41.

Lazure L. Impacts des mammifères néotropicaux sur les graines. Neotropical Biology and Conservation. 2006;1(2):51-61

Collins SL, Uno GE. Seed predation, seed dispersal, and disturbance in grasslands: A comment. American Naturalist. 1985; 125(6):866–872.

Willson MF, Whelan CJ. Variation in post dispersal survival of vertebrate-dispersed seeds: Effects of density, habitat, location, season, and species. Oikos. 1990;57191–198.

Sinsin B. Formes de vie et diversité spécifique des associations de forêt claires du nord du Benin. Systematics and Geography of Plants. 2001;71(2):873-888.