Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 408

Full Length Research Paper

The effects of climate and edaphic factors on plant colonisation of lava flows on Mount Cameroon

Fonge B. A.1, Focho D. A.2*, Egbe  E. A.1, Tening A. S.3, Fongod A. N.1, Neba G. A.1and Mvondo Ze A.4
1Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon. 2Department of Plant Biology, University of Dschang, P. O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon. 3Department of Chemistry, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon. 4Department of Soil Sciences, University of Dschang, P. O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 June 2011
  •  Published: 31 August 2011


Tropical ecosystems exhibit several ecological characteristics that make their sustainable management a very difficult task. Surveys were conducted from December 2000 to December 2002 to study the influence of climate and edaphic factors on vegetation cover, species diversity and distribution on three lava flows of Mount Cameroon.  On each of the lava flows, thirteen plots in the centre and 2 plots on the adjacent sides were sampled randomly, during two dry and two rainy seasons.  A total of 169 plant species belonging to 55 families were identified. The Orchidaceae was the most abundant family having 16 and 19 species in 1922 and 1959 lava flows respectively. Shannon-Weaver Diversity Indices of 2.75, 3.16 and 3.61 were obtained for the 1999, 1959 and 1922 lava flows respectively. Mean annual rainfall values of 5726.7, 4938.6 and 1618.7 mm respectively, were recorded for the 1922, 1999, and 1959 lava flows. Vegetation establishment on the three lava flows was highly influenced by rainfall. 60.7% of the seeds/spores of the plant species identified are dispersed by wind. Organic carbon was found to be the main soil parameter that affected vegetation establishment on the three lava flows.


Key words: Vegetation cover, species diversity, climate and soils.