Forest Structure and Tree Species Diversity of the Abasumba Globally Significant Biodiversity Area, Ghana

Felix Tetteh Kabutey(1*), Daniel Wodah(2)

(1) Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science Education, University of Education, P.O. Box 25 Winneba, Ghana
(2) Department of Science Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale Ghana
(*) Corresponding Author


We studied the forest structure and tree species diversity with diameter-at-breast-height (dbh) ≥ 10 cm in the Abasumba Globally Significant Biodiversity Area Ghana. Sixteen 25 m * 25 m plots were demarcated and trees with dbh ≥ 10 cm were inventoried following International Plant Nomenclature Index. The characteristic three–storey structure of tropical forests was shown, 68.7% of trees were in the lower 4.5–18 m and middle 18–30 m storeys. A majority 91.4% of 342 trees was in the dbh of 10–30 cm and a least 8.6% of 32 trees in 31–60 cm had dbh ˃ 60 cm. Total of 46 species, 38 genera and 17 families, with mean Alpha, Shannon and Simpson’s Diversity indices of 13.9, 1.44 and 0.07 and importance value index of 300.0 for 374 trees ha-1 was recorded. Plant families Sterculiaceae, Meliaceae, Leguminosae, Ulmaceae and Bombacaceae was the majority encountered while Triplochiton scleroxylon, Cola millenii, Trichilia monadelpha, Hymenostegia afzelii, Celtis mildbraedii, Ceiba pentandra and Ficus sur was the most occurring species in 54.0% of the plots accounting for 52.0% of the IVI for all trees. Blighia sapida, Bridelia grandis, Dialium guineense, Draceana arborea, Ficus sur, Holarrhena floribunda, Holoptelea grandis, Margaritaria discoidea, Rauvolfia vomitoria, Trilepisium madagascariense, Vitex ferruginea, Ximenia americana and Xylia evansii had one individual in the 10,000 m2 area indicated that they are rare and should be given conservation priority in the forest reserve.



Tropical dry forest; floristics composition; tree species diversity; biodiversity index; Tree dispersion patterns

Full Text:



Acheampong, E.O. et al., 2019. Deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion in Ghana's forest reserves. Scientific African, 5, e00146. doi: 10.1016/j.sciaf.2019.e00146

Asase, A. & Adeniyi, A., 2021. Plant diversity and tree community structure along an elevation gradient in Apra Hills Sacred Grove, Ghana. West African Journal ofApplied Ecology, 29(2), pp.47-58.

Asigbaase, M. et al., 2019. Tree diversity and its ecological importance value in organic and conventional cocoa agroforests in Ghana. PloS one, 14(1), e0210557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210557

Augspurger, C.K., 1984. Seedling survival of tropical tree species: interactions of dispersal distance, light‐gaps, and pathogens. Ecology, 65(6), pp.1705-1712. doi: 10.2307/1937766

Baker, D.J. & Willis, S.G., 2014. Projected impacts of climate change on biodiversity in West African protected areas. UNEP-WCMC technical report.

Beatty, S.W., 1984. Influence of microtopography and canopy species on spatial patterns of forest understory plants. Ecology, 65(5), pp.1406-1419. doi: 10.2307/1939121

Bentsi-Enchill, F. et al., 2022. Impact of anthropogenic disturbance on tree species diversity, vegetation structure and carbon storage potential in an upland evergreen forest of Ghana, West Africa. Trees, Forests and People, 8, 100238. doi: 10.1016/j.tfp.2022.100238

Brobbey, L. et al., 2020. Drivers of cocoa encroachment into protected forests: the case of three forest reserves in Ghana. International Forestry Review, 22(4), 425-437. doi: 10.1505/146554820831255533

Cabin, R.J. et al., 2000. Effects of long‐term ungulate exclusion and recent alien species control on the preservation and restoration of a Hawaiian tropical dry forest. Conservation Biology, 14(2), pp.439-453. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.99006.x

Cloudsley-Thompson, J.L., 1967. Plant Life in West Africa. G. W. Lawson. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 42(3), pp.434-435.

Cottam, G. & Curtis, J.T., 1956. The use of distance measures in phytosociological sampling. Ecology, 37(3), pp.451-460. doi: 10.2307/1930167

DryFlor et al., 2016. Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications. Science, 353(6306), pp.1383-1387. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf5080

Ewusie, J.Y., 1980. Elements of Tropical Ecology: with Reference to the African, Asian, Pacific and New World Tropics, London: Heinemann.

FAO, UNEP, 2020. The State of the World’s Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people, pp.82-85.

Garkoti, S.C., 1992. High altitude forests of Central Himalaya: productivity and nutrient cycling. Kumaun University.

Gentry, A.H., 1982. Patterns of neotropical plant species diversity. In Evolutionary biology. Boston: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-6968-8_1

Gentry, A.H., 1995. Diversity and floristic composition of neotropical dry forests. In Seasonally dry tropical forests. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.146-194. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511753398.007.

Ghartey, K., 1989. Results of the national forest inventory, Planning Branch. Forestry Department, Kumasi–Ghana.

Gillespie, T.W. & Jaffré, T., 2003. Tropical dry forests in New Caledonia. Biodiversity & Conservation, 12(8), pp.1687-1697. doi: 10.1023/A:1023649831355

Green, C., 1974. Quantitative and dynamic plant ecology: KA Kershaw. Edward Arnold, London, 1973, 2nd edn, 308 pp., 164 figures, 33 tables,£ 5.60: Elsevier. Agro-Ecosystem, 1, pp.359-360 doi: 10.1016/0304-3746(74)90043-2

Hall, J.B. & Swaine, M.D., 1981. Distribution and ecology of vascular plants in a tropical rain forest, Springer Dordrecht. doi: 10.1007/978-94-009-8650-3

Hartshorn, G.S., 1990. An overview of neotropical forest dynamics. In Four neotropical rainforests. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp.585-599.

Hawthorne, W., 1990. Field guide to the forest trees of Ghana. London, UK: Overseas Development Administration.

Hawthorne, W. & Musah, A. J., 1993. Forest protection in Ghana, Gland, Cambridge: IUCN.

Hawthorne, W. & Abu-Juam, M., 1995. Forest protection in Ghana: with particular reference to vegetation and plant species (Vol. 15). IUCN.

Hawthorne, W., 2006. Photoguide for the forest trees of Ghana: a tree-spotter's field guide for identifying the largest trees. Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences.

Hawthorne, W.D. & Jongkind, C.C., 2006. Woody plants of Western African forests, A guide to the forest trees, shrubs and lianes from Senegal to Ghana, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, p.1023.

Huang, W. et al., 2003. Species diversity, forest structure and species composition in Tanzanian tropical forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 173(1-3), pp.11-24. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00820-9

Hubbell, S.P., 1979. Tree Dispersion, Abundance, and Diversity in a Tropical Dry Forest. Science, 203(4387), pp.1299-1309.

Huston, M.A., 1994. Biological diversity: The coexistence of species on changing landscapes, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hutchinson, J. & Dalziel, J. M., 1927. Flora of west tropical Africa, London, UK: Crown Agents for the Colonies.

International Plant Nomenclature Index (IPNI), 2008. International plant nomenclature index, viewed 10 June 2022, from

Jacobson, A.P. et al., 2019. Global areas of low human impact (‘Low Impact Areas’) and fragmentation of the natural world. Scientific Reports, 9(1), pp.1-13. doi: 10.5061/dryad.z612jm67g

Kacholi, D.S., 2019. Assessment of Tree Species Richness, Diversity, Population Structure and Natural Regeneration in Nongeni Forest Reserve in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Science, 45(3), pp.330-345. doi: 10.4314/TJS.V45I3

Keenan, R.J. et al., 2015. Dynamics of global forest area: Results from the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015. Forest Ecology and Management, 352, pp.9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.06.014

Khurana, E. & Singh, J., 2001. Ecology of seed and seedling growth for conservation and restoration of tropical dry forest: a review. Environmental conservation, 28(1), pp.39-52. doi: 10.1017/S0376892901000042

Klitgaard, B.B. et al., 1999. Composición florística y estructural del bosque petrificado de Puyango. Herbario LOJA, 3, pp.25-49.

Lamprecht, H., 1989. Silviculture in the tropics: Tropical forest ecosystems and their tree species-possibilities and methods for their long-term utilization, Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit.

Lelli, C. et al., 2019. Biodiversity response to forest structure and management: Comparing species richness, conservation relevant species and functional diversity as metrics in forest conservation. Forest Ecology and Management, 432, pp.707-717. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.09.057

Linares-Palomino, R. & Alvarez, S.I.P., 2005. Tree community patterns in seasonally dry tropical forests in the Cerros de Amotape Cordillera, Tumbes, Peru. Forest Ecology and Management, 209(3), pp.261-272. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2005.02.003

Menaut, J.C. et al.,1990. Tree community dynamics in a humid savanna of the Cote-d'Ivoire: modelling the effects of fire and competition with grass and neighbours. Journal of biogeography, 17(4/5), pp.471-481. doi: 10.2307/2845379

Ocón, J.P. et al., 2021. Global tropical dry forest extent and cover: A comparative study of bioclimatic definitions using two climatic data sets. PloS One, 16(5), e0252063. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252063

Owusu, E.H. et al., 2018. The secondary impact of mining on primates and other medium to large mammals in forest reserves in southwestern Ghana. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5(1), pp.114-121. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2017.11.007

Padalia, H. et al., 2004. Phytosociological observations on tree species diversity of Andaman Islands, India. Current Science, 87(6), pp.799-806.

Pandey, S.K. & Shukla, R.P., 2001. Regeneration strategy and plant diversity status in degraded sal forests. Current Science, 81(1), pp.95-102.

Phillips, E.A., 1959. Methods of vegetation study, Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Riggio, J. et al., 2020. Global human influence maps reveal clear opportunities in conserving Earth’s remaining intact terrestrial ecosystems. Global Change Biology, 26(8), pp.4344-4356. doi: 10.1111/gcb.15109

Sagar, R. & Singh, J., 2005. Structure, diversity, and regeneration of tropical dry deciduous forest of northern India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 14(4), pp.935-959. doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-0671-6

Sahu, S. et al., 2007. Phytosociological study of tropical dry deciduous forest of Boudh district, Orissa, India. Research journal of forestry, 1, pp.66-72. doi: 10.3923/RJF.2007.66.72

Shannon, C. & Weiner, W., 1963. The mathematical theory of communication, Urbana, US: The University of Illinois Press.

Simpson, E.H., 1949. Measurement of diversity. Nature, 163, 688. doi: 10.1038/163688a0

Siyum, Z.G., 2020. Tropical dry forest dynamics in the context of climate change: syntheses of drivers, gaps, and management perspectives. Ecological Processes, 9, 25. doi: 10.1186/s13717-020-00229-6.

Srivastava, A., 2002. Forest vegetation and tree regeneration in a species-rich sub montane transect of central Himalaya. Kumaun University.

Suratman, M.N., 2012. Tree species diversity and forest stand structure of Pahang National Park, Malaysia. Biodiversity enrichment in a diverse world, 19, pp.45-56. doi: 10.5772/50339

Swaine, M.D, Lieberman, D. & Hall, J.B., 1990. Structure and dynamics of a tropical dry forest in Ghana. Vegetatio, 88(1), pp.31-51. doi: 10.1007/BF00032601

Thammanu, S. et al., 2021. The influence of environmental factors on species composition and distribution in a community forest in Northern Thailand. Journal of Forestry Research, 32(2), pp.649-662. doi: 10.1007/s11676-020-01239

Vogt, P. et al., 2019. FAO-State of the World’s Forests: Forest Fragmentation, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. doi: 10.2760/145325

White, D. & Hood, C. 2004. Vegetation patterns and environmental gradients in tropical dry forests of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. Journal of Vegetation Science, 15(2), pp.151-160. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2004.tb02250.x

Whitmore, T., 1984. Tropical rain forests of the Far East 2nd Ed., Clarendon Press.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1276 | views : 689


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Tropical Biodiversity and Biotechnology

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Editoral address:

Faculty of Biology, UGM

Jl. Teknika Selatan, Sekip Utara, Yogyakarta, 55281, Indonesia

ISSN: 2540-9581 (online)