Impacts of Prosopis juliflora on Abundance and Species Diversity of Forage Species in Turkana County, Kenya

Main Article Content

Nadio E. Clement
Agevi Humphrey
Obiri John

Abstract

Aims: This study sought to determine the effects of P. juliflora on the abundance and relative diversity of other forage species in Turkana County.

Study Design:  Ecological data collection entailed cross-sectional surveys across riverine and non-riverine ecosystems.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was undertaken in three sub-counties within Turkana County namely Turkana Central, Turkana West and Turkana South between 15th January to 17th May, 2020.

Methodology: Sampling plots were used to collect plant abundance data from the various parts of the study area. The plots were of three types; main plots of 30 m× 40 m (1200 m2), sub-plots of 5 m × 2 m (10 m2) and square quadrats of 1 m×1 m (1 m2). The sub-plots and quadrats were nested within the main plots which were in turn laid down along transect belts. The transects of width 40 m and 400m in length were laid down in two main habitats (riverine and non-riverine) of the three sub-counties. Control plots were also laid in non P. juliflora sites.

Results: Prosopis juliflora was the most abundant species covering about 63% of the sampled individuals (N=6390). This was followed by Acacia tortilis at 18% while Acacia mellifera was the least. There was significant difference in abundance between sites and among counties (p˂0.05). The Shannon diversity index (H´) in areas with Prosopis juliflora ranged between 0.40-1.27 while in areas without Prosopis juliflora (or Control) it ranged between 1.5-2.1, indicating high diversity in the areas without P. juliflora compared to areas colonized by it. Prosopis juliflora was also high in the riverine areas compared to non-riverine areas across the three sub counties. Results show that Prosopis juliflora has invaded vast areas especially the riverine ecosystem leading to a decline in the population of key forage species and thus threatening the socio-economic livelihoods of Turkana County.

Conclusion: Prosopis juliflora was the most abundant and dominant plant species in both the riverine and non-riverine sites. The study also showed that P. juliflora has led to the decreased plant species richness and diversity in the area because of its invasive nature.

Keywords:
Prosopis juliflora, invasive shrub, arid and semi-arid lands, arid-land forage, Turkana.

Article Details

How to Cite
Clement, N. E., Humphrey, A., & John, O. (2020). Impacts of Prosopis juliflora on Abundance and Species Diversity of Forage Species in Turkana County, Kenya. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 39(33), 112-125. https://doi.org/10.9734/cjast/2020/v39i3331026
Section
Original Research Article

References

Geesing D, Khawlani MA, Abba ML. Management of introduced Prosopis species: Can economic exploitation control an invasive species. Unasylva. 2004;55: 36-44.

Sirmah P, Muisu F, Mburu F, Dumarcay S, Gerardin P. Evaluation of Prosopis juliflora Properties as Alternative to Wood Shortage in Kenya. Bois Et Forets Des Tropiques. 2008;298(4):25-35.

Zeila A. Mapping and managing the spread of Prosopis juliflora in Garissa County, Kenya (MSc. dissertation, Kenyatta University); 2011.

Choge SK, Ngunjiri FD, Kuria M, Busaka N. The Status and Impact of Prosopis spp. in Kenya: KEFRI, Nairobi, Kenya; 2002.

Mwangi E, Swallow B. Prosopis juliflora invasion and rural livelihoods in the Lake Baringo area of Kenya. Conservation and Society. 2008;6(2):130-140.

Pimentel D, Lach L, Zuniga R, Morrison D. Environmental and economic costs of non-indigenous species in the United States. Bioscience. 2000;50:53–65.

Pasiecznik NM, Felker P, Harris PJC, Harsh LN, Cruz G, Tewari JC, Cadoret K, Maldonado LJ. The Prosopis juliflora – Prosopispallida complex: A monograph. HDRA, Coventry, UK. 2001;1-172.

Muturi GM, Poorter L, Mohren GMJ, Kigomo BN. Ecological impact of Prosopis species invasion in Turkwel riverine forest, Kenya. Journal of Arid Environments. 2013;92:89-97.

Choge SK, Pasiecnik NM, Harvey M, Wright J, Awan SJ, Harris PJC. Prosopis pods as human food, with special reference to Kenya; 2007. Available:http://www.wrc.org.za/Lists/Knowledge%20Hub%20Items/Attachments/5507/Article%2017%20abstract.pdf Accessed on 13/05/2010

Richardson DM, Hui C, Nunez MA, Pauchard A. Tree invasions: Patterns, processes, challenges and opportunities. Biological invasions. 2014;16(3):473-481.

Shackleton RT, Le Maitre DC, Van Wilgen BW, Richardson DM. The impact of invasive alien Prosopis species (mesquite) on native plants in different environments in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany. 2015;97:25-31.

Mwangi E, Swallow B. Invasion of Prosopis juliflora and local livelihoods: Case study from the lake Baringo area of Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre. 2005;1-68.

Ndhlovu T, Milton-Dean SJ, Esler KJ. Impact of Prosopis (mesquite) invasion and clearing on the grazing capacity of semiarid Nama Karoo rangeland, South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science. 2011;28:129– 137.

Wise RM, Van Wilgen BW, Le Maitre DC. Costs, benefits and management options for an invasive alien tree species: The case of mesquite in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments. 2012;84:80–90.

Dzikiti S, Schachtschneider K, Naiken V, Gush M, Moses G, Le Maitre DC. Water relations and the effects of clearing invasive Prosopis trees on groundwater in an arid environment in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments. 2013;90:103–113.

Dean WRJ, Anderson MD, Milton SJ, Anderson TA. Avian assemblages in native Acacia and alien Prosopis drainage line woodland in the Kalahari, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments. 2002;51: 1–19.

Schachtschneider K, February EC. Impact of Prosopis invasion on a keystone tree species in the Kalahari Desert. Plant Ecology. 2013;214:597–605.

Turkana County. Turkana County Integrated Development Plan. CIDP II (2018-2022); 2018. Available:https://www.cog.go.ke/downloads/category/106-county-integrated-development-plans-2018-2022.

Opiyo FE. Climate variability and change on vulnerability and adaptation among Turkana pastoralists in North-western Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi); 2014.

Kipchirchir KO, Ngugi KR, Wahome RG. Use of dry land tree species (Prosopis juliflora) seed pods as supplement feed for goats in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. Environmental Research Journal. 2011;5(2):66-73.

de Souza Nascimento CE, Tabarelli M, da Silva CAD, Leal IR, de Souza Tavares W, Serrão JE, Zanuncio JC. The introduced tree Prosopis juliflora is a serious threat to native species of the Brazilian Caatinga vegetation. Science of the Total Environment. 2014;481:108-113.

Haregeweyn N, Tsunekawa A, Tsubo M, Meshesha D, Melkie A. Analysis of the invasion rate, impacts and control measures of Prosopis juliflora: A case study of Amibara District, Eastern Ethiopia. Environmental monitoring and assessment. 2013;185(9): 7527-7542.

Saxena SK. Ecology of Prosopis juliflora in the arid regions of India. In Prosopis species in the arid and semi-arid zone of India. Proceedings of a conference held at the Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. 1993;17-20.

Garcia-Serrano H, Sans FX, Escarre J. Interspecific competition between alien and native congeneric species. Acta Oecologica. 2007;31(1):69-78.

El-Keblawy A, Al-Rawai A. Impacts of the invasive exotic Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC on the native flora and soils of the UAE. Plant Ecology. 2007;190(1):23-35.

D’Aietti L, Ekakoro E, Gianvenuti A, Jonckheere I, Lindquist E, Ochieng RM, Owen MG. Rapid Assessment of Natural Resources Degradation in Areas Impacted by the Refugee Influx in Kakuma Camp, Kenya. Technical report No. 142631; 2019.

Kawawa R, Obiri J, Muyekho F. Allelopathy potential of invasive Psidium guajava L, against selected native tree species in Kakamega Tropical Forest, Western Kenya. Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences. 2016;11(5): 80-86.

Adhiambo R, Muyekho F, Creed I, Enanga E, Shivoga W, Trick C, Obiri J. Managing the invasion of guava trees to enhance carbon storage in tropical. Forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 2019; 432(2019):623–630.

Mworia JK, Kinyamario JI, Omari JK, Wambua JK. Patterns of seed dispersal and establishment of the invader Prosopis juliflora in the upper floodplain of Tana River, Kenya. African Journal of Range & Forage Science. 2011;28(1): 35-41.

Getachew S. Allelopathic Effects of the invasive Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. on selected native plant species at Middle Awash, Southern Afar Rift of Ethiopia. Doctoral dissertation, Addis Ababa University; 2010.

Getachew S, Demissew S, Woldemariam T. Allelopathic effects of the invasive Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. on selected native plant species in Middle Awash, Southern Afar Rift of Ethiopia. Management of Biological Invasions. 2012;3(2):105-114.

Kebede AT, Coppock DL. Livestock-mediated dispersal of Prosopis juliflora imperils grasslands and the endangered Grevy’s zebra in North eastern Ethiopia. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 2015;68(5):402-407.

Richardson DM, Holmes PM, Esler KJ, Galatowitsch SM, Stromberg JC, Kirkman SP, Hobbs RJ. Riparian vegetation: Degradation, alien plant invasions, and restoration prospects. Diversity and Distributions. 2007;13(1):126- 139.

Athalye RP. Biodiversity of Thane Creek. In the Proceedings of the National Conference on Biodiversity: Status and Challenges in Conservation, FAVEO. 2013;9-14.

Mbaabu PR, Ng WT, Schaffner U, Gichaba M, Olago D, Choge S, Eckert S. Spatial evolution of Prosopis invasion and its effects on LULC and livelihoods in Baringo, Kenya. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(10):1217.

Robinson TP, Van Klinken RD, Metternicht G. Spatial and temporal rates and patterns of mesquite (Prosopis species) invasion in Western Australia. Journal of Arid Environments. 2008;72(3): 175-188.