The study of relationship between plant community composition and underlying environmental factors in Kakum conservation area

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Kakum Conservation Area is one of the important National Parks in Ghana, which has a great tourism potential. The vegetation of the area is a semi-deciduous moist tropical forest and has been conserved as a reserved forest since 1931. The present study was conducted to determine the floristic composition of six homogenous vegetation types and to find out whether there is a direct casual link between community composition and the underlying environmental factors. The six homogeneous areas of the forest were identified and in each of these sites an area of 640m2 was delimited and divided into 64 square plots. Within each of these plots, four 5m quadrats were located at random and the frequency of individual species quantified. Physical and chemical characteristics of the soils collected from the different vegetation areas were analysed in the laboratory. Soil samples were collected to correspond with the quadrats. The results indicated that the soils from the different areas differ in many chemical and physical characteristics and these differences could affect the plant species, which grow on them. However, a direct casual link between community composition and these soil factors could not be made without controlled experimentation.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Environmental Science, 2001