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Growth characteristics and diversity of urban tree species in selected areas of Uyo Metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Oyebade, B. A., Popo-ola, F. S. and Itam E. S.

This study investigated the growth characteristic and diversity of urban tree species in selected areas (educational, commercial and residential areas) of Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The quantitative data collected on growth parameters (dbh, basal area and volume) were analyzed and ecological indices such as Shannon-Wiener diversity index, evenness and species similarity index were employed to determine the diversity of the study areas. The results showed that educational area has the highest level of growth parameters in terms of number of families (29), number of species (63), as compared to commercial and residential areas with 16 and 30, and 24 and 54 respectively. The highest density per hectare of tree species was found in residential area. Species diversity index, species richness and species evenness were in the order educational area > residential area > commercial area, thus indicating that the indices are dependent on some silvicultural conditions of the area. The educational area has the highest diversity (63), followed by residential area (54) and commercial area (30). The result of Sorensen’s species similarity index between the three study strata revealed the sequence 66.10, 65.17 and 56.80 between commercial and residential areas, educational and commercial areas, educational and residential areas respectively; signifying that species in commercial and residential are more similar than any other area combination. On the other hand, the results of the test of significance among means of growth characteristics (mean dbh, mean basal area and mean volume,) using ANOVA and LSD indicated no significance differences among the study areas (P> 0.05); thus supporting the sameness in the diversity of the study areas.