Micro-Climate Implications of Forest Conversion for Floral Diversity in a Humid Forest Region of South Eastern Nigeria

Francis E. Bisong, Pius B. Utang, Raphael Offiong

Abstract


The study assessed the potential impact of forest conversion for micro-climate as well as the implications of micro-climate alteration for floral diversity in a humid forest region of South Eastern Nigeria. The measurement of possible micro-climate condition was taken at two sites including forest under-storey and the nearest open space, cleared but under three year fallow, while the number of trees, shrubs and herbs was documented and species diversity index determined. Three climate parameters were taken into consideration: rainfall, temperature and relative humidity. Results showed that the quantity of rain in open space was higher than in the forest under-storey, implying exposure to possible accelerated runoff, loss of valuable top soil and alteration of floral diversity. Mean daily temperature was lower under forest cover than open space, but with a higher range in the under-storey. At the same time, difference between maximum and minimum temperature was lower in the forest under-story. Relative humidity was higher in forest under-storey than open space; being highly variable between morning and evening in the open space. The conversion of forest has implications for traditional livelihood, which is dependent on forest products. This was expressed in the variation in the floral diversity across the land cover types. Strategies for alternative livelihoods should be explored for local communities.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jgg.v4n1p283

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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