EFFECT OF ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCES ON INSECT DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE IN THE SINSABLEGBINI FOREST RESERVE, GHANA
This study was conducted to assess the effect of anthropogenic disturbances on insect diversity and abundance in the Sinsablegbini Forest Reserve. Insects were sampled in two types of disturbed habitats (encroached forest and burnt forest) in the reserve with the undisturbed forest as control. A one (1) hectare permanent sampling plot was demarcated in each habitat type for the collection of insects. Insects were sampled with pitfall traps, pan traps, sticky traps, sweep nets and handpicking for 12 sampling days across three months (February–April) of the dry season. 914 insects belonging to 10 insect orders and 40 families were identified in the reserve. Insect diversity was generally higher in the undisturbed forest than the disturbed area (burnt forest and encroached forest). Insect order distribution equally varied across the three habitats with the undisturbed forest recording ten orders (10) whilst the encroached forest and burnt forest recorded nine (9) and six (6) orders respectively. Anthropogenic disturbances also had a significant effect on insect abundance with the burnt forest recording a significantly low insect abundance as compared to the undisturbed forest (P > 0.05). The study showed that anthropogenic activities are having devastating effects on insect biodiversity in the Sinsablegbini Forest Reserve. A collaborative effort of both Forestry Services Division and fringe communities is recommended to curb these disturbances to help conserve biodiversity in the reserve.
Keywords: Diversity, Sinsablegbini Forest Reserve, Undisturbed, Encroached, Burnt
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