Keywords: plant diversity, trace metals, vegetation structure, Nigeria, soil contamination, environmental pollution, anthropogenic activities, cultivation, vehicular traffic, industrial activity
Plant diversity in relation to anthropogenic trace metals in soils of selected sites in Nigeria's Guinea Savanna
Studies on the contributions of anthropogenic activities to trace metal contamination in the soils of the West African sub-region, and their effects on the biodiversity of the area, are scanty. The effect of the trace metal content of soil, contributed by some anthropogenic activities (cultivation, vehicular traffic and industrial activity), on the plant diversity and vegetation structure in each of four sites in Nigeria's Guinea Savanna was evaluated. Soil contents of Pb, Br, Nb, V, Co, and Rb analysed by energy dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (ED-XRF) were generally higher in all the polluted sites than in the control site, except in the low traffic site (B). Co was lower than in the control site and Rb in the industrial site (D) was lower than in the control site. The mean number of plant species was significantly higher in site A (control) than in all the other three sites.