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Dataset from plant survey in the KNUST Botanic Garden

Cite this dataset

Acheampong, Eric Boateng; Manu, Gordon; Asante, Winston Adams; Kyere, Boateng (2021). Dataset from plant survey in the KNUST Botanic Garden [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset represents the raw data collected for a study of plant composition and diversity in a12.9 ha moist semi-deciduous forest in the urban landcape of Kumasi, the city capital of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Since 1960, the forest ecosytem has been gazetted and managed as a botanic garden, known as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Botanic Garden, to preserve its rich flora for environmental education, research and recreation. The KNUST Botanic Garden has therefore remained untouched, despite progressive land cover change or developmental activities (settlements and  building facilities) that characterizes the  KNUST campus within which the garden is located. The dataset was  generated from a field survey conducted in December 2019 to to gather relevant information on plant parameters (species, dbh, height)  from two distinct microsites (upland and inundated) of the garden. This dataset was first anlysed to generate results that permitted the writing of a master thesis.  The robust methods and quality of data permitted subsequent use of the results for developing of a manuscript. This manuscript which is entiled "The Role of Urban Tropical Botanic Gardens in Biodiversity Conservation: An Example from the KNUST Botanic Garden in Kumasi, Ghana" has been accepted for publication in Biotropica. 


The data was collected in two distinct microsites, dry upland and periodically flooded (inundated) microsites of the forest; the distinction was established by examining relevant factors such as topographic gradient, drainage conditions and flood channels  during a reconnaissance survey. Three main plots, measuring 50×50 m each were randomly laid at each microsite for enumeration of adult plants (diameter at breast height, dbh > 5 cm). Five 2×2 m subplots were further laid from the center and corners of each main plot for enumeration of seedlings (dbh 5 cm and height < 1.5 m). Plant identification was made possible by physical observation and study of identification features such as crown shape, tree bole, bark texture and slash exudates, leaves and flowers. The dbh of all adult plants were measured with a diameter tape. Nikon Forestry Pro II laser hypsometer was used to measure the tree heights in meters. Information from this survey (species name, dbh, height, quantity) were organized in excel and pulled together to generate this dataset.

Usage notes

 The dataset contains seven columns as described below, including the data on the plant paramters (species name, dbh, height, quantity): 

Forest layer: The “Forest layer” represents the different plant layers, which is either “Adult” plant or “Seedling”.

Microsite: The column labelled “Microsite” denotes the microsite (“Upland” or “Inundated”) from which the different adult plants or seedlings were recorded.

Plot No.: This stands for the plot number for the various adult plants or plot number for the quadrats and seedlings recorded in them.

The “Quadrat No”: This contains the numbers of quadrat for the enumerated seedlings.

The “Species” column holds the names for the individual adult plants or seedlings of different species .   

The column “dbh” and “Height” respectively represent the diameter at breast heights in centimetres (cm) and heights in meters (m) for the individuals of specific adult plant species.  

The “Quantity” column contains the number of individuals for specific seedling species.

When using the dataset, the “Filter” feature in Excel can easily be used to narrow down to the specific data. For examples: (a) the number individual stems of specific "Adult" plant "Species", say Elaeis guineensis with their "dbh" and "Height" that were recorded in a main plot, say "Plot No." 1 at the upland microsite (i.e. 4 stems) or inundated microsite (i.e. 33 stems); (b) to the number or "Quantity"of seedlings for a specific "Species", say Baphia nitida recorded in a particular "Quadrat No." of a particular "Plot No." say quadrat 2 of plot 1 in the inundated microsite (i.e. 3 seedlings) or quadrat 3 of plot 2 in the upland microsite (i.e. 2 seedlings). 

 Note: The “Quadrat No” and “Quantity” columns shows have no data entries for rows with "Adult" plants as these are for only seedlings. Similarly the colums "dbh" and "Height" contain data for only rows with "Adult" plants.