Volume No. 6 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1119-1126 April-June 2012

 

COMPARISON OF COMMUNITY COMPOSITION IN DISTURBED AND RELATIVELY UNDISTURBED RANGELANDS IN SEMI ARID REGIONS USING GROUND BASED METHODS : THE CASE OF INSINDI COMMERCIAL FARM AND INSINDI A1 RESETTLEMENT AREA, GWANDA, ZIMBABWE

 

Gwate O.

Lupane State University, Gwanda Avenue, Bulawayo (ZIMBABWE)

 

Received on : March 20,2012

 

ABSTRACT

 

The study sought to determine the extent of community disturbance by comparing vegetation attributes (physiognomic structure and diversity) of Insindi A1 resettlement area adjacent to the Insindi commercial farm, Gwanda (Zimbabwe). Research methodology entailed the land systems approach. Tree and grass species sampling were subsequently done. Indirect gradient analysis using the Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) technique was done. Comparison of species diversity in the disturbed and the relatively undisturbed area was determined using a statistical package called Palaeontological Statistics (PAST). Relative species abundances between the two vegetation stands were not significantly different (p-0.95601). Tree species diversity between the two areas was significantly different (p-0.75866). Grass species relative abundance (p-0.98997) showed that there was no significant difference between the two areas. Grass species diversity (p-0.90723), grass cover (p-0.795) and grass density (p-0.528) revealed that the two grass stands were significantly different. Anthropogenic activities have had a significant impact in terms of community composition. In order to enjoy the full benefits of the fast track land reform, robust technical support has to be availed to reduce environmental degradation taking place in the area.

 

Keywords : Community disturbance, Species diversity, Dominance, Species importance curve, DBH class, Ordination

 

 

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