n Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa - Spatial distribution and abundance of the African baobab (Adansonia digitata) in Zimbabwe - research

Volume 74 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0035-919X
  • E-ISSN: 2154-0098
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The African baobab (Adansonia digitata, L.) is one of the most important tree species in the African savannah, yet there is little knowledge of its spatial distribution and abundance. In this study, we modelled the spatial distribution of baobab in Zimbabwe as a function of key biophysical factors using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and also estimated its abundance. Results show that altitude, mean temperature of the driest quarter and mean temperature of the coldest quarter are the key factors explaining baobab distribution in Zimbabwe. The population of baobabs in Zimbabwe was estimated to range from 3 980 070 to 4 441 697 at 95% confidence. The results suggest we can estimate the spatial distribution as well the abundance of baobabs. This implies that any sustainable utilisation of baobabs and their products should take into consideration their distribution and abundance.

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