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Current Research in Agricultural Sciences

December 2020, Volume 7, 2, pp 64-83

Plant Diversity and Regeneration Potentials in Protected Area Forests of Sierra Leone

Moses Fayiah


Shikui, Dong


Sanjah Singh


Roberto Xavier Supe Tulcan


Kadijatu Sheriff


Ibrahim Robinson Kargbo


Abdulai Barrie

Moses Fayiah 1 ,

Shikui, Dong 2
Sanjah Singh 3
Roberto Xavier Supe Tulcan 4
Kadijatu Sheriff 1 Ibrahim Robinson Kargbo 1 Abdulai Barrie 1 
  1. Department of Forestry, School of Natural Resources Management, Njala University, Sierra Leone. 1

  2. State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China; Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. 2

  3. Biodiversity and Climate Change Division, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun, India. 3

  4. State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. 4

Pages: 64-83

DOI: 10.18488/journal.68.2020.72.64.83

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Article History:

Received: 15 September, 2020
Revised: 08 October, 2020
Accepted: 30 October, 2020
Published: 18 November, 2020


Protected areas (PAs) around the globe are considered a reservoir for biodiversity conservation and an engine for ecosystem function and services. The regeneration potential of tropical forests in (PAs) is crucial to plant diversity survival and conservation, amid climate change in the 21st century. The PAs conservation and management status of Sierra Leone is uncertain. This study assessed the seedlings, saplings, and trees species diversity, abundance, richness and regeneration status of tropical forests in four PAs across Sierra Leone. We sampled 60 quadrats in total with each having a dimension of 20m × 20m. We found only a few new species with good regeneration potential in all the forest PAs were assessed, indicating that the resilience of these forests is quite low in the face of anthropogenic activities especially shifting cultivation and logging. Plant diversity index and soil factors were positively correlated, indicating that a decrease or increase in soil physical and chemical properties could affect speciation. The results show that diameter class distribution mainly falls within the 0-30cm category. Furthermore, abiotic factors (like precipitation and temperature), species richness, ecosystem complexity and over story were predicted to have influenced the regeneration and flora diversity of the PAs forests significantly. The results imply that PAs in Sierra Leone are going through serious exploitation and as such, plant diversity and richness is low and the regeneration ability is poor due to weak conservation strategies and approaches. It recommended that strategic planning and forest enrichment policies be instituted to mitigate future PAs forest exploitation.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of the few studies that investigate plant diversity, regeneration and soil properties across PAs in Sierra Leone. The research contributes to the existing literatures in PAs and their ecosystem characteristics. The article concludes that; PAs in Sierra Leone plant diversity and richness and regeneration ability is low.


Protected areas, Regeneration, Sierra Leone, Flora biodiversity, Seedlings, Saplings & Trees.


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This research was financially supported by the grants from the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (2019QZKK0307), National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC0501906), Qinghai Provincial Key R&D program (2019-SF-145 & 2018-NK-A2), Qinghai innovation platform construction project (2017-ZJ-Y20). The authors would also thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Many thanks is extended to Mr M. Swarray (Botanist) attached to the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone for trees species identification. Many more thanks is extended to authors field researchers assistants, Mr. Mohamed Shaw, Salia P. Sannoh, Mr. Edward H. Sama and Mr. Musa M. Swarray for their support in collecting data in the field.

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( 52 ) Challenges of Groundwater Development for Towns and Big Cities Water Supply in Rift Valley Areas
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