Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 333–356 | Cite as

Dragonfly communities in coastal habitats of Kenya: indication of biotope quality and the need of conservation measures

  • Viola Clausnitzer


This study highlights the species diversity of Odonata from coastal forests in southern Kenya, identifying indicator species for certain habitat types and emphasising the importance of conserving the last remaining coastal forest areas. A total of 78 species were recorded from coastal habitats in southern Kenya in this study; five species for the first time in eastern Africa. Dragonfly communities relative to different habitat types from indigenous forest to cultivated landscapes are described and compared. The forest species are often confined to coastal forests of East Africa. They are stenotopic and highly sensitive to disturbance. With increasing habitat disturbance the species richness increases at first, but most of the colonisers are eurytopic species that are common and widely distributed in Africa. The species assemblages between different habitat types in the disturbed landscape are more or less the same; the β-diversity is much lower than in different habitat types of the natural coastal landscape. In the end, management implications are briefly discussed.

Coastal forests Conservation Disturbance Diversity East Africa Odonata Species richness Zonation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viola Clausnitzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyPhilipps-University of MarburgHalle, SaaleGermany

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