Flora and vegetation

In the Bandia reserve the florisitics are relatively copious as there were more than 100 plant species in 30 families recorded here. Phytogeographically the re­serve belongs to the Sudan-Sahelian area and the original vegetation is made up of Acacia ataxacantha-Acacia seyal bushland (White 1983, Lawesson 1995). As mentioned above when the reserve was established the vegetation was in a much degraded state. At the moment one can observe the 3 varying stages of su­ccession according to how the reserve was gradually expanded and enclosed. The first stage of succession still has the character of open grassy savannah with a high representation of annual species. The dominant grass species are Bra­chiaria distichophylla, Brachiaria lata, Digitaria velutina, Pupalea lappacea, Peni­setum violaceum, Digitaria abyssinica; of the herbs there are for example Blain­villea gayana, Cassia tora, Corchorus sp., Indigofera sp., Sesbania sesban and others. In the course of the short rains and in the second part of the dry season (from the end of January) the herbs are not abundant and their nutritional value is low (Al Ogoumrabe 2002). For this development stage one of the characteris­tic species is Calotropis procera, which quickly colonises newly created biotopes, however in later stages it recedes. The second stage is the transitional phase of bushy savannah, where the regeneration of species such as Acacia ataxacantha can be found. Then it is pushed out by shade of Acacia macrostachya, Acacia seyal and Tamarindus indica. The oldest part of the reserve involves a tree and bush savannah that is the original vegetation structure dominated by the baobab Adansonia digitata, making up 52 % of the storey. Other dominant species of the tree and bush layer are Acacia seyal, Balanites aegyptiaca, Boscia senegalense, Combretum micrantum, Grewia bicolor, Feretia apodanthera, Ziziphus mauritia­na, and others. Azadirachta indica and Eucalyptus alba are not original species, which, although they are not well received by livestock, they do show signs of an­telope grazing. In the surroundings of the northern branch of the Somone River we can find Khaya senegalensis, Lonchocarpus sericeus, Lonchocarpus laxiflo­rus, Celtis toka and Cordia senegalensis. The river corridor of the Somone is co­lonised by Tamarix senegalensis demonstrating a certain amount of salt in the soil.

© Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences

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