Variation in plant biodiversity across sacred groves and fallows in Western Highlands of Cameroon

C. M. Tankou, G. R. de Snoo, H. H. de Iongh, G. Persoon

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


The study was conducted to compare species richness and diversity in different ecosystems and abiotic factors. The results showed that the sacred groves had a plant genetic diversity composed of a total of 42, 65 and 82 ethno-botanical species of herbs, shrubs and trees, respectively, with varied qualities. There were six herbaceous species common in the fallow ecosystem and the sacred groves, 35 herbaceous species found in the sacred grove and absent in the fallow vegetation and 70 herbaceous species in the fallow vegetation and absent in the ground layer of the sacred groves. Thirty-two regenerated species and 49 nonregenerated tree species were found in the sacred groves. The herbaceous -diversity was significantly higher in the fallows than the sacred groves at the low altitude. The tree species richness was higher at the low altitude compared to the high altitude with tree -diversity increasing with altitude. Varying combinations of soil pH, total P, total K, CEC and slope per cent were related to some of the parameters evaluated. Biodiversity changes in the sacred groves may be governed by biophysical drivers, while a combination of human and biophysical explained the variation in rotational fallow vegetation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • abiotic factors biodiversity rotational fallows sacred groves Western Highlands of Cameroon community structure species richness tamil-nadu diversity forest conservation gradients responses india Environmental Sciences & Ecology


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