2020, VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2Pages: 357-365
Forest cover change and species distribution in Ago-Owu forest reserve, Osun State, Southwestern, Nigeria
J. T. Asifat* and O. O. I. Orimoogunje
*Department of Geography, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife-220005, Nigeria
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This study assessed the forest cover change and species distribution in Ago-Owu Forest Reserve, Osun State, South-western Nigeria. Both primary and secondary data sources were used. The primary data source included the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) to take coordinates of the sampled plots of 10 m 10 m where enumeration and classification into families of woody trees were carried out. The secondary data were maps of the study area on a scale of 1:50,000. ArcGIS software version 10.1 was utilized. The results show that the un-disturbed forest land in 1986 declined from 234.98 km2 to 233.66 km2 in 1996, to 220.76 km2 in 2006 and decreased to about 194.86 km2 in 2016. The disturbed land area was 53.29 km2 in 1986 and decreased to 42.16 km2 in 1996. The disturbed land area increased from 42.16 km2 in 1996 to 44.69 km2 in 2006 and receded to 14.23 km2 in 2016. The built-up in 1986 increased from 17.16 km2 to 29.62 km2 in 1996 and further increased from (39.95 km2) to 96.32 km2 in 2016. The major woody trees species were Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis. The result showed that natural and anthropogenic processes such as farming, demand for industrial soft wood and settlements expansions were responsible for the forest cover changes. The study concluded that conversion of natural forest into monoculture plantations should be discouraged while forestry laws and regulations should be enforced in order to reduce human activities that negatively impacted the forest reserves.