Diversity of tree and shrub species in Agali sub county- Lira district, Uganda
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Information on woody species occurring in different habitats/areas is critical for sustainable land management, biodiversity conservation, and informing food security interventions. The aim of the study was to characterize the species richness, composition, diversity, structure, and distribution patterns of trees and shrubs in Agali sub County-Lira district. A survey of cultivated and non-cultivated areas was done, with a total sampled area of 2.4 ha (1.2 ha of each habitat type), at three Parishes (Abonborwot, Adyaka and Apanylongo) purposely selected from the six Parishes in the sub County. Sixty sample plots were established (30 plots, 20m x 20m in each habitat) systematically at 30m interval along a transect, 470m long. A total of 33 tree species and 27 shrub species belonging to 22 families were identified; Fabaceae was the most dominant family, followed by Combretaceae, Moraceae, and Verbenaceae, respectively. While, dominant tree species were Philiostigma thonningii and Combretum collinum in non-cultivated area, and in cultivated area were; Stereospermum kunthianum and Combretum collinum. In addition, the, the dominant shrub species was Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia seyal and Lantana camara, and in non-cultivated area were Lantana camara and Senna spectabilis. The species of Lantana camara, Combretum collinum, Philostigma thonningii and Dichrostactys cinerea were the four dominant species in Agali sub County. Trees and shrubs were distributed differently in the two habitats. Species diversity was higher in non-cultivated area (H = 3.54) than in cultivated area (H = 3.28). DBH of 1367 recorded tree individuals ranged from 1-86 cm, with most individuals falling in small DBH categories (1-37cm) and a few individuals in big DBH categories (38-86cm). Interventions are suggested for increasing the currently very low woody plant density in Agali sub County through planting and managing natural regeneration, including invasive species management program; for improved farming system resilience in the face of climate change.