Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 229-241

First online:

Planning tree species diversification in Kenya based on differences in tree species composition between farms. II. Analysis of tree niches.

  • R. KindtAffiliated withWorld Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Email author 
  • , P. Van DammeAffiliated withLaboratory of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Ethnobotany, Ghent University
  • , A. J. SimonsAffiliated withWorld Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
  • , H. BeeckmanAffiliated withRoyal Museum for Central-Africa

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Concerns exist about the limited diversity of tree species in agricultural landscapes. Complete tree inventories were carried out on 201 farms from four villages in western Kenya to establish whether significant differences in tree species composition existed between farms, and if so their magnitude and implications for new introductions and plantings. Novel types of ordination using the Hellinger ecological distance and polynomial Redundancy Analysis indicated wide heterogeneity between farms with respect to tree species composition of five niches, including homestead, cropland, fallow, woodlot, and external boundary (p ≤ 0.05). Multiple regression analysis confirmed the ordination results using the abundance of dominant species as the response variable. The relationship between location and species composition differed with those of two previous surveys. Methodological differences in sampling intensity, locations and time of sampling between these surveys could have caused the difference. The maps of spatial distribution of compositional types provided in the previous surveys were not confirmed, whereas villages were found to contain several farms with a species composition that was not typical of their village. Meaningful results about the species composition of a landscape should include several farms per village and use a sampling grid finer than 5×5 km2.


Diversification Domestication Hellinger distance Landscape Ordination Redundancy analysis