Taxonomic diversity of lianas and vines in forest fragments of southern Togo
Revue D Ecologie-La Terre Et La Vie
This work analyses the contribution of climbing plants to the biodiversity of forest fragments in southern Togo, West Africa. Based on a general floristic inventory totalling 17.5 ha of 53 forest fragments, there were found to be a total of 649 species; lianas, vines or climbing shrubs represented 135 genera in 45 families, i.e. 207 species or 32% of the plant diversity. The majority of these climbing plants were small, grew along the ground or were attached to shrubs or trees no more than 8 m in height. When only climbing plants were considered, it was possible to distinguish three fragment forest types (littoral, semi-deciduous, gallery) using correspondence analysis. The dominance of non-lianas (132 species of vines and climbing shrubs) over lianas sensu stricto (75 species) is indicative of relatively low forest having an irregular canopy. Approximately 60% of climbing plants in southern Togo are common to the tropical forests of the western coast of Africa.