Tree species diversity in cultivated landscapes: investigation of biodiversity patterns through training of African researchers uri icon


  • Agroforestry is aimed at diversif ying and sustaining agricultural landscapes for increased social, economic and environmental benefits. As ecological research has demonstrated that diversification of a group of low diversity will have larger eff ect on ecosystem functioning than the same level of diversification of a group of higher init ial diversity, we investigated tree diversit y patterns within farming ecosystems to be able to target diversification efforts. Po werful and freely available statistical software for biodiversity and co mmunity analysis were developed ( BiodiversityR ) on the basis of experiences during a number of training workshops of African researchers fo r the analysis of on-farm tree diversity surveys. Some of the recommended modern statistical approaches that the BiodiversityR package enables are illustrated here with survey data collected from 4 landscapes in tropical Africa. These approaches include the use of exact species accumulation curves, accumulation surfaces of Rényi dive rsity profiles and constrained ordination analyses methods. Importa nt differences c ould be observed between the dominant functions of trees on farms that allow targeting diversification efforts to groupings of species of lo wer diversity. The BiodiversityR software and Tree Diversity Analysis manual are available for free download from the website of the World Agroforestry Centre

publication date

  • 2008