The status and change in rangeland ecosystem in the Tolon-Kumbungu District of Northern Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The status and change in rangeland ecosystem in the Tolon-Kumbungu district of the Northern Region of Ghana were studied from June 1999 to November 1999. These parameters were assessed by determining the relative abundance of the plant species classified as decreasers, increasers and invaders in the experimental and control sites in the study area. The experimental site was a plot of Guinea Savanna vegetation, which is used for livestock grazing, and the control site was a sacred grove, which has been protected from all forms of exploitation including grazing. The two plots were adjacent to each other. The abundance of these categories of plants was quantified by recording the presence or absence as well as counting the number of the individual plants in a series of 5x 5 quadrates. The relative abundance of other growth forms (trees, shrubs, forbs) of plants was also similarly quantified Field assessment of range trend was based upon the determination of whether or not seedlings were getting established, and of which species or class of vegetation and whether or not evidence of past erosion is being healed over by plant growth Range trend was also assessed by determining the mean heights of plants in the experimental and the control sites Based on criteria such as floristic composition of the vegetation, the successional position in the vegetation and their value of grazing of animals and symptoms of site deteriorations revealed by the amount of bare ground and evidences of erosion, the experimental site was classified as “poor” and the control site was “Good”. The results also indicated that those species of plants most palatable to grazing animals were relatively abundant in the experimental site than in the control site and for invaders, the reverse was the case. The number of undesirable plant species was also more on the experimental site than on the control site. There was also a significant decrease in the heights of all the different growth forms of plants forming the vegetation on the experimental site than those on control site. All these observations were considered as clear indicators of a deteriorating trend of the experimental site. Suggestions and recommendations to reverse this trend have been made.
A dissertation submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, 2000