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EFFECTS OF OVER WEEDING OF COMMON SPECIES DIVERSITY ON THE UNIVERSITY OF UYO BOTANIC GARDEN
An ecosystem includes both living organisms and the non-living elements in a set environment. Plants are only one living component of an ecosystem, but play a vital role in the lives of other organisms as primary producers. Plants are essential in maintaining an ecosystem’s ecological balance, and their destruction disrupts this delicate balance between diverse parts. Zahedi (1998).
Phytosociologyl highlights a high correlation between plant type and environmental conditions (Asri, 1994) enabling us the discovery of the complicated relations of ecosystem parts by studying resources and environments. In many agricultural systems around the world, competition from weeds is one of the major factors reducing crop yield and farmers’ income. In developed countries, despites the availability of high-tech solutions (e.g. selective herbicides and genetically-modified herbicide-resistant crops), the share of crop yield loss caused by weeds does not seem to reduce significantly over time (Cousens and Mortimer, 1995). In developing countries, these herbicides are rarely accessible at a reasonable cost, hence farmers often need to rely on alternative methods for weed management.
Worldwide limited success in weed control is probably the result of an over- simplification in tackling the problem. Too much emphasis has been given to the development of weed control tactics (especially synthetic herbicides) as ‘the’ solution for any weed problems, while the importance of integrating different tactics (e.g. preventive, cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods) in a cropping system-based weed management strategy has long been neglected. Integrated weed management is based on knowledge of the biological and ecological characteristics of weeds to understand how their presence can be modulated by cultural practices. Based on this knowledge, the farmer must first build up a comprehensive weed management strategy within her/ his cash crop sequence, and then choose the best method of direct weed control during crop growing cycles. Besides this, it must be remembered that weed management is always strictly embedded in crop management itself. As such, the interactions between weed management and other cultural practices must be duly taken into account. For example, the inclusion of cover crops in a crop sequence is an interesting way to integrate weed management with nutrient management in low- external input systems, with additional benefits on other important agro-ecosystem properties (e.g. soil fertility, soil moisture retention, biodiversity, etc.). However, the use of herbicides in field crops for the control of weeds has gathered momentum in recent years. It has been established that weed control through herbicides is paying preposition and can be successfully employed for controlling weeds in crops. But the regular and constant use of single herbicide for long years in a single crop and similar type of weeds has resulted in the development of resistance towards the particular herbicide. Under such conditions, integration of herbicide weed control methods with other cultural methods viz., mulching, plays an imperative role for achieving accepted level of weed management and enable farmers to obtain moderate to high crop yield on sustainable basis, protecting the crop from pests and land use intensively and economically without soil degradation.
Plants (weeds) of similar nature and ecological needs (niche) are associated with each other. Braun-Blanquet (1983), creating weed ecological groups. Plants communities include one or more ecological groups Khademi (2009). The presence and distribution of plant communities in rangeland and other highland ecosystems are affected by factors of climate, terrain (topography) and weed management methods Leonard et al., (1984).
Owing to human destruction, measuring biodiversity and its related parameters, such as species composition, dominance, uniformity and number of species in ecosystems, ecological assessment, is of great importance (Goodman, 1975).
By studying vegetation and different environmental factors such as physiographic, soil, and climate can sustain plants (weeds) communities despites its negative impacts on soil, climate and other living organism, the correlation between these factors and vegetation realized that the issue of development and restoring plant communities, is very important and practical (Basiri, 2003).
Species diversity is made up of two components, the first of a number of species, and refers to the species richness. The second component is the variation of the uniformity of the distribution of species is concerned Kent and Cocker, (1996). Physiographic factors, the impact on soil moisture, crop nutrients, chemical properties (nitrogen and potassium) and physical properties (drainage, porosity etc.), and other characteristics has an importance roles in the distribution of plant species and their diversity. Enright et al., (2005) and Sohrabi, (2004) with a diversity of plant species in relation to physiographic factors in grassland areas found in the lower slope of highest diversity and species richness, and because it works negative steep slopes, the leaching of soil, drainage, drying the soil moisture, loss of nutrients and reduced fertility.
Bussman, (2008) reported that the effects on species diversity as observed was done to less diversity in some parts of vegetation, the steep rise due to leaching of soil, drain and dry the soil too much and lack of suitable weed management methods. According to the uniformity of given the purpose of this study is therefore to assess the effects of over weeding of common species diversity in University of Uyo botanic garden in relation to factors such as crop-weed competition, altitude, and other physical factors.
1.1 Statement Of The Problem
The study of effects of over weeding of common species diversity has become a common trend in biodiversity conservation with specific focus of more researchers on species diversity and ecology slope. Information on the species diversity trend is scarce. Hence, the study tends to bridge the gap and provide baseline information on these parameters in order to understand the importance of this ecosystem for better protection, conservation and managements of such hostile ecosystems.