Multivariate analysis of plant communities in the Narok district, Kenya: The influence of environmental factors and human disturbance
Species type in 42 samples was examined using ordination analysis to establish whether the vegetation pattern displays gradation due to environmental factors, and whether the pattern was being altered by human disturbance. The analysis displayed two patterns. First, the ordination on axis 1 demonstrated vegetation gradation from xeric communities on the plains to humid forests on the highland. This pattern is explained on the basis of moisture and nutrient variations. Vegetation vectors based on species presence-absence were correlated with average rainfall, carbon, nitrogen and zinc. The second was separation of disturbed and undisturbed forest and bushland site categories on axis 2 of the ordination space. This pattern suggests that disturbance response is interactive with moisture so that only in moist communities does a significant vegetation response to disturbance occur.