Diversity and Distribution of Climbing Plants in a Semi-Deciduous Rain Forest, KNUST Botanic Garden, Ghana

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International Journal of Botany


The diversity and distribution of climbing plants were investigated in two 1-ha plots in the KNUST botanic garden. Each plot was divided into sixteen 25 m x 25 m quadrats and all trees and shrubs ≥10 cm dbh were enumerated in each quadrat. All vines on tree species were identified and counted while all lianas ≥1.5 cm were enumerated. The mechanisms of climbing of the climbers were studied. A total of 951 climbing plants belonging to 82 species, 49 genera and 26 families were identified. These consisted of 72 liana and 10 vine species. Seven hundred and sixteen trees belonging to 77 species and 27 families hosted the climbers. Climbing plants made up of about 43% of all the species (except herbs) identified. Lianas alone constituted about 38% of the woody species. The commonest and most dominant species were Strophantus barteri Franch., Smilax species and Griffonia simplicifolia (Vahl ex DC.) Baillon. Most of the climber species showed clumped distribution. Stem twinning was the most predominant climbing mechanism. The number of climbers using the different climbing mechanisms differed significantly (p<0.001). Host species, habitat and their interaction had significant (p<0.001) effects on climber density.

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