The impacts of anthropogenic activities on the vegetation communities and structure in the western part of Rungwe forest reserve, Tanzania

Joseph Mwakosya, Cosmas Mligo


Rungwe Forest Reserve is among degraded southern Tanzania tropical montane forests. It was investigated the effects of illegal anthropogenic activities on the plant community structure on the western part of Rungwe mountain forest reserve. The study area was classified the into three levels of disturbance (least disturbed, moderately disturbed and highly disturbed) and transect method was used to collect data. Two clusters (cluster A and B) of plant communities based on Two Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) were found. Cluster A included communities from the least and moderate disturbed sites and cluster B had plant communities from the highly disturbed site The least, moderately and highly disturbed sites had many individuals within the DBH range of 19-57 cm10-47 cm and 11-14 cm respectively. The observed variation in size class structure among the sites was caused by the intensity of anthropogenic disturbance. The inverted J shaped patterns of diameter size class distribution were indicative of regeneration and active recruitment from lower tree growth sizes. It was concluded that the existing plant community structure was shaped by the impacts of anthropogenic activities. Thus, conservation management interventions are necessary for protection of the forest.

 Keywords: Plant communities, disturbance, montane forest, population size structure, Rungwe,

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.