Coastal Forests of Kenya-Ecology, Biodiversity & Conservation

Fungomeli, Maria Mashirma (2021) Coastal Forests of Kenya-Ecology, Biodiversity & Conservation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, della vita e dell'ambiente, 33 Ciclo.
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Aims: the broad objective of this study is to investigate the ecological, biodiversity and conservation status of the coastal forests of Kenya fragments. The specific aims of the study are: (1) to investigate current quantitative trends in plant diversity; (2) develop a spatial and standardised vegetation database for the coastal forests Kenya; (3) investigate forest structure, species diversity and composition across the forests; (4) investigate the effect of forest fragment area on plant species diversity; (5) investigate phylogenetic diversity across these coastal remnants (6) assess vulnerability and provide conservation perspectives to concrete policy issues; (7) investigate plant and butterfly diversity correlation. Methods: I performed various analytical methods including species diversity metrics; multiple regression models for species-area relationship and small island effect; non-metric multidimensional scaling; ANOSIM; PERMANOVA; multiplicative beta diversity partitioning; species accumulation curve and species indicator analysis; statistical tests, rarefaction of species richness; phylogenetic diversity metrics of Phylogenetic diversity index, mean pairwise distance, mean nearest taxon distance, and their null-models: and Co-correspondence analysis. Results: developed the first large standardised, spatial and geo-referenced vegetation database for coastal forests of Kenya consisting of 600 plant species, across 25 forest fragments using 158 plots subdivided into 3160 subplots, 18 sacred forests and seven forest reserves; species diversity, composition and forest structure was significantly different across forest sites and between forest reserves and sacred forests, higher beta diversity, species-area relationship explained significant variability of plant diversity, small Island effect was not evident; sacred forests exhibited higher phylogenetic diversity compared to forest reserves; the threatened Red List species contributed higher evolutionary history; a strong correlation between plants and butterfly diversity. Conclusions: This study provides for the first time a standardized and large vegetation data. Results emphasizes need to improve sacred forests protection status and enhance forest connectivity across forest reserves and sacred forests.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fungomeli, Maria Mashirma
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Biodiversity, coastal forests, conservation, fragmentation, Kenya, sacred Kaya forests, species diversity, species area-relationship, phylogenetic diversity, tropical forests
Data di discussione
21 Maggio 2021

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