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Influence of Soil Drainage and Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Damage on Abundance and Structure of Colophospermum mopane in Central Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe | Abstract
Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2375-446X

+1-947-333-4405

Abstract

Influence of Soil Drainage and Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Damage on Abundance and Structure of Colophospermum mopane in Central Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe

Mutemeri Moses, Mudavanhu Simbarashe and Mudavanhu Farai

A study on the influence of soil drainage and elephant damage on the abundance and structure of Colophospermum mopane was carried out in Central Mana Pools National Park (MPNP) Zimbabwe. Data were collected in April- May 2013. The stratified random sampling method was employed. The study area was stratified according to soil drainage. Three strata were established namely; well drained, moderately drained and poorly drained soils. Ten plots were sampled in each strata and a total of 30 plots were sampled to determine the abundance and structure of C. mopane in Central MPNP. Results from One way ANOVA showed significant differences in tree height, basal area, tree canopy volume, shrub canopy volume, sapling density, tree density, number of stems per tree and damaged trees density (P˂0.05). There was no significant difference in the number of dead trees across the three strata (P˃0.05). Moderately drained soil had the highest number of undamaged trees (n=91; 42%), saplings and stems per tree. Well drained soils had the highest number of damaged live trees (n=112; 51%) and poorly drained soils had the highest number of dead trees (n=60; 51%). There were significant differences in damage (P˂0.001). Regression analysis showed a negative relationship between elephant density and damaged trees density (R2=0.03; P˃0.05), however, there was a positive relationship between elephant density and dead trees (R2=0.3865; P˂0.05). Results from this study suggest that soil properties as well as elephant damage have an influence on the abundance and structure of C. mopane, therefore the need for constant monitoring of this tree species.

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