Ecosystem Service Potentials and Underlying Influences in a Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem

Nwabueze, I. Igu, Chinero, N. Ayogu, Peter, I. Eburu


Tropical ecosystems have vast array of ecosystem services but are largely un-quantified. This study explored the capacity of rainforest ecosystems to deliver ecosystem services and inherent influences that determine such. Forest plots measuring 50m × 50m were set up in 14 locations and used for tree enumeration. Soil samples were collected at four edges and middle of each plot at 0-30cm depth, bulked and analyzed. Aboveground, belowground and soil carbon, and biodiversity variables were equally conducted according to standard procedures. Pearson correlation and regression were used to verify aboveground and belowground carbon relationships and relationships between elevation and carbon capacities, respectively. 85 species within 32 families were enumerated across the ecosystem. Biodiversity patterns showed a diversity index of 3.376, relative dominance of Dialium guineense Willd., (54.34%) and seven other species with ? 1% dominance. Species within the ecosystem possessed provisioning and regulating ecosystem values. Carbon estimates showed aboveground biomass range of 1.73 – 6.50 t/ha-1, percentage soil carbon and soil organic carbon ranges of 4.76 – 8.80% and 17.78 – 91.3 t/ha-1, respectively. Elevation did not generally influence the carbon stock of the ecosystem, but had some influence on percentage soil carbon. Effective strategies that would address the reductions in the services were advocated.

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