Current Floristic Composition and Growth Forms of Equatorial Rainforest, Kakamega County, Kenya
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Floristic composition and growth forms were studied in central Isecheno nature reserve part of the main tropical rainforest using transects and systematic quadrats following compass direction from January to December, 2014. Totals of 8 transect and 219 quadrats of 10m by 10m each were studied. There are 57 families represented by 124 genera composed of 146 plant species. The present composition/ inventory of plant species was recorded: Family Euphorbiaceae has maximum number of 13 species; sub-dominant families are Moraceae and Rubiaceae with 11 species each; Acanthaceae and Fabaceae families have 5 species each; Bignoniaceae family is represented by 4 species; Mimosaceae, Piperaceae, Rosaceae, Boraginaceae and Verbenaceae families represents only 3 species each; Apocynaceae, Asclepediaceae, Celastraceae, Dracaenaceae, Menispermaceae, Myrtaceae and Oleaceae families are represented only by 2 species each and 33 families are represented only by single species which reflects on poor species composition due to heavy pressure of human population to utilize resources. Five types of growth forms are present and represented by 55.48% trees, 21.94% shrubs, 8.9% herbs, 16% climbers and only 2.74% lianas. Based on the present composition/inventory of this forest, it is concluded that this equatorial forest of Kenya is under serious threat, many species have been extinct and many others are endangered.