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Title: The effects of forest destruction on the community and abundance of butterflies in the Bosumkese forest reserve
Authors: Addai, Godswill
Issue Date: 20-Jun-2011
Abstract: Despite substantial loss of natural forest in Bosumkese forest reserve by inhabitants, little is known on the effects of the massive habitat loss and degradation on its forest biota. To investigate the effects of anthropogenic disturbances, butterflies were surveyed in three forest types identified in the forest reserve namely, disturbed canopy (DC), and slightly disturbed canopy (SDC) and undisturbed canopy (UC) which was the control site for the study. Questionnaire and interview schedules were the main instruments used in collecting data on the threat of human activities affecting the forest reserve. The data was analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS and the results presented in percentages and means. Samples of butterflies were carried out by the use of fruit – baited traps in a line transect selected in each of the study area as well as the use of walk –and –catch within the 1 kilometre zone in each forest type. The data collected was quantified in terms of the total number sampled and relative abundance, expressed in percentage. Species richness and diversity of the butterflies were analysed using Simpson’s Diversity Index. The demographic data revealed that anthropogenic activities in the area are male dominated (65%) with farming (70%) and chain saw lumbering (15%) being the main occupation of the people. These human activities in the forest have resulted in wanton destruction of the resources within the forest reserve. Consequently, the situation has affected the rainfall pattern of the area, rivers and streams, productivity of agriculture and biodiversity of the forest. The disturbed canopy had the largest number of butterflies (51) compared to the undisturbed canopy (31). However, the relative abundance of the butterflies in the disturbed area was largely Papilionidae which adapted well to the open area where the forest is of poor quality. On the contrary the study also revealed that most of the butterflies in the undisturbed canopy and slightly disturbed canopy were Nymphalidae which are mostly butterflies of forest of good quality. In terms of species richness, the undisturbed canopy had the highest species richness (14) and diversity (0.019) compared to the disturbed canopy which had the least of species richness and diversity that is 8 and 0.15 respectively. It is recommended that butterflies should be use as a model to monitor the health of forest reserves and in addition there should be strict enforcement of forest laws by the law enforcement agencies to help steer our conservation efforts in the country.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4068
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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