|Country||Tanzania, United Republic of|
|Categories||Communities, Invertebrates, People|
|Date||9 Jul 2013|
This study investigates the effects of human induced activities on riparian habitats and invertebrate communities in Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania. The Luguru people are inhabitant of the area who depend on subsistence lifestyle and farming as their main economic activity. The Uluguru area is occupied by the Uluguru Mountains range of the Eastern Arc Mountains. The mountains are potential in the provision of forest products and maintain the humid climate suitable for agriculture. People along the Uluguru Mountains and Morogoro municipality depend much on these mountains for water that is used for industrial, agriculture and domestic purpose. The forest cover of the mountains is also known to provide nutrients, protection and ability of invertebrates to increase in number. Therefore, loss of vegetation cover is associated with decline in biodiversity. The benefits of the mountains are jeopardized by slashing, burning and shifting cultivation that have resulted into shortage of water, loss of vegetation cover and habitat fragmentation.
Ground beetles have shown significant responses to vegetation structure and have been documented as sensitive indicators of anthropogenic activities to the environment. Species richness and diversity of the beetles is often representative and correlate with species richness of other invertebrates. This suggests that, this group of invertebrates can be used as a surrogate group for the diversity of other invertebrates. In this study ground beetles will be used as an indicator to assess the impact of anthropogenic disturbance on riparian habitat and community structure of other invertebrates in the Uluguru Mountains.
Ground beetle samples will be collected by active searching and pitfall traps. Interviews will also be employed to collect information on the anthropogenic activities that affect riparian habitats and invertebrates communities and vulnerability of Uluguru communities to habitat destruction. Univariate and multivariate analysis will be performed to determine diversity indices and the influence of human induced activities on riparian habitat and invertebrates. Results of this study among others will be useful for all stakeholders involved in conservation of natural resources.
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