Item Details

Title: Taxonomic diversity, distinctness, and abundance of tree and shrub species in Kasagala forest reserve in Uganda: implications for management and conservation policy decisions

Date Published: 2010
Author/s: Samson Gwalia, Paul Okulloa, David Hafashimana, and Denis Mujuni Byabashaija
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher: Tropical Conservation Science
Affiliation: National Forestry Resources Research Institute, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Kasagala, diversity, distinctness, abundance, ANOSIM, SIMPER, conservation policy


The successful management of natural resources requires access to adequate information on social, economic, ecological, and cultural changes in order to mitigate their impacts through conservation interventions. In most cases, such information is provided in the form of simple diversity indices, which may not predict the complex nature of species functioning in ecosystems. In this study, we used rank abundance, analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), similarity percentages (SIMPER), and taxonomic-diversity and distinctness indices to show the status of tree and shrub species in Kasagala forest reserve in central Uganda. Four 100 × 100 m plots were established in four vegetation strata of the strict nature reserve of the forest, and diameter at breast height (DBH) of trees and shrubs = 5 cm measured. There was no significant difference in species abundance in the four vegetation strata (Kruskal Wallis H = 2.614, p = 0.453; ANOSIM: R = -0.334, p = 0.995). The taxonomic diversity and distinctness of the four vegetation types ranged between 2.414 and 2.786 while the taxonomic distinctness values ranged between 2.897 and 2.978. The taxonomic diversity of the forest is generally even, suggesting a homogeneous community. We suggest that the managers of the forest constitute a continuous monitoring program aimed at controlling the impact of anthropogenic factors, one of the main influences for such low taxonomic distinctness values observed for this forest.