An Ecological Study of the Pattern pf Plant Species Diversity Around Lake Manyara, Northern Tanzania.

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Addis Ababa University


The plant species diversity and plant communities around Lake Manyara have been described. Soil samples collected from each plot were analysed for soil pH, electric conductivity, cation exchange capacity, organic matter, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, total Nitrogen, Soil texture (sand, silt, clay) and Trampling effect. Results obtained show that 84 species representing 40 families were recorded. Classification results using SYNTAX revealed seven plant communities. These include Sporoboboills spicatlls-Cyperus lael'igatlls community type, Cynodon dactyloll-Sporoboills spicatlls community type, Hyphae/1e petersialla-Digitaria l'eillfilla community type, Sporoboills COIlSilllilis community type, Acacia tortilis community type, Hypoestes fOJ'sskalei-Clallsena allisata community type, and Trichilia ellletica- Tabemaemollfalla pachysipholl community type. The distributions of plant community types in relation to the environmental variables have been analyzed. Organic matter, clay content, silt content, soil pH cation exchange capacity, available phosphorus, electrical conductivity and trampling effect are the most important environmental factor that determines community distribution in lake Manyara area. Species diversity and evenness are high in plant community type V (Acacia torfilis community type) and community type VI (Hypoestes forsskalei-Clallsella allisata community type) while plant community type I (Sporoboills spicatlls-Cyperus lael'igatlls) show less species diversity. Vegetation cover and species diversity increased with distance from the lake. Recommendations towards the conservation of species in lake Manyara area are given.