Introduction, Distribution and Drivers of Non-native Mangrove Palm Nypa fruticans Van Wurmb (Arecaceae) in Cameroon, Gulf of Guinea
MOUDINGO, J-Hude1,2*, AJONINA, Gordon2,3, DIBONG, Didier3,4, TOMEDI3, Minette
1. Département de Biologie des Organismes Végétaux, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Douala, B.P. 24157 Douala, Cameroun.
2. Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society P. O. Box. 54 Mouanko, Littoral Region-Cameroon.
3. Département d’Aquaculture, Institut des Sciences Halieutiques, University of Douala, B.P. 2701 Douala, Cameroun.
4. Department of Geosciences and Environment, Faculty of Sciences, University of Douala, P. O. Box. 24157 Douala, Cameroon.
In this paper, we investigate Nypa fruticans Van Wurmb (Arecaceae), a native plant from the indo-pacific, introduction, dispersal, drivers, invadability and distribution in Cameroon’s mangrove and its shoreline, Atlantic Gulf of Guinea. The study used a combination of observation (qualitative) approach including naïve and scientific. Desk research and interpretative document analysis were the main research methods that guided the finding, selecting, and rigorous examination of Nypa palm invasion process.
Hence, we found that historically Nypa have been wildly distributed and with re-introduction in the Gulf of Guinea. Today, over 10 Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem countries harbours Nypa at varied scale, of which in Nigeria’s all the coastal and marine line (nine states) served as the fundamental niche. We equally hypothesis that the species has been present in Cameroon’s Marine and Coastal line alongside its mangrove ecosystem since First World War period. No single Cameroon mangrove block was Nypa palm free. Hence, the study provided evidences that Nypa dispersed was currently present in many localities and future spread because of climatic factors, paucity in policy and institutional framework, taxa and habitat characteristic, land use and socioeconomic practices. Dispersal mechanism was through barochory, hydrochory and anthropochory likely its invadability upper rate was 175 Nypa palm/ha/year. We suggest further research on biophysical impacts and possible management scenarios of Nypa palm.
Keywords: Mangrove ecosystem, fundamental niche, Nypa fruticans, invasion, Gulf of Guinea.
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