Diversity and conservation value of Gabon's savanna and inselberg open vegetation: an initial gap analysis
Materials and methods – Species presence in the grassy formations of the savannas in Loango, Lopé, Pongara, and Plateaux Batéké national parks and in Kum inselberg is compared using ordination and clustering based on a similarity matrix (Sørensen index). For the Batéké Plateaux savannas, the species rarity and distributions are assessed using Star ratings.
Key results – The species in the open herbaceous vegetation in Gabon account for at least 11% of the total flora of the country (508 species out of 4,710). Except for the coastal savannas, all sites are highly dissimilar in floristic composition (Sørensen index 0.065–0.26) and no dominant savanna type occurs within the dataset. The inselberg site is the most dissimilar and constitutes a separate vegetation unit. Most savanna species of the Batéké Plateaux area are widely distributed, but not weedy. A few are extremely rare and are linked with moist habitats, substrate, and fire occurrence. Our results show the diversity and the conservation value of open, herbaceous habitats. Currently, the Gabonese National Park network is partly protecting the savanna and inselberg vegetation. However, several areas remain un-assessed and merit further exploration.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-03-01
Plant Ecology and Evolution (a continuation of Belgian Journal of Botany, incorporating Systematics and Geography of Plants) is an international journal devoted to ecology, phylogenetics and systematics of all 'plant' groups in the traditional sense (including algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, myxomycetes), also covering related fields such as comparative and developmental morphology, conservation biology, ecophysiology, evolution, phytogeography, pollen and spores, population biology, and vegetation studies. It is published by the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium and the Botanic Garden Meise and contains original research papers, review articles, checklists, short communications and book reviews.
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