Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Zisadza-Gandiwa et al

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (7), pp.592-597, July 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 070813705

 

Status of Woody Vegetation along Riparian Areas in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

 

Patience Zisadza-Gandiwa1,2, Chenjerai Parakasingwa2

Clayton Mashapa3, Never Muboko4 and Edson Gandiwa4*

 

1Transfrontier Conservation Areas Office, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, P.O. Box CY 140, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.

2Scientific Services, Gonarezhou National Park, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Private Bag 7003, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe.

3Tropical Resource Ecology Programme, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, 

P. O. Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.

4Department of Wildlife and Safari Management, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Private Bag 7724, 

Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.

 

*Corresponding Author’s Email: egandiwa @ gmail.com;

Tel: +263 773 490202


Abstract:

We assessed the composition and structure of woody vegetation along Save, Runde and Mwenezi rivers in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Data were collected from 62 sample plots between April and May 2011 using a stratified random sampling design. Our results showed significant differences in plant height, shrub density and numbers of stems per plant across the three major perennial rivers. However, there were no significant differences in basal area, tree density, dead plant density, browsed plant density, fire damaged plant density and species diversity. Our findings suggest that disturbances, e.g., herbivory, are affecting the woody vegetation structure in all major rivers in Gonarezhou. We therefore, recommend for the continuous monitoring of riparian vegetation in Gonarezhou and other similar protected areas.
 
Keywords: Herbivory, perennial rivers, savanna, species diversity, woody vegetation.

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