Animals May Take Over Nigerian Cities If Logging Of Rainforests Persists - Botanist Warns - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, December 24, 2021

Animals May Take Over Nigerian Cities If Logging Of Rainforests Persists - Botanist Warns





The Daily Crucible | Friday, December 24, 2021

Mariam Adekunle, Abeokuta

A botanist has raised an alarm that fleeing animals may take over the cities in rainforests zone of the country, if the "rapid devastation and logging of priceless rainforests," their habitats, is not abated.

Prof. Olubukunola Oyesiku who raised the alarm while calling for a concerted efforts to save the ecosystem, described the manner of devastation and logging of the nation's rainforests without any guide or collaboration with botanists as "astonishingly rapid" and "demoralising."

Oyesiku recalled that he biked over Ago - Iwoye land covering 1000sq km in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State in 2018 and found an "extensively logged forest," lamenting that indiscriminate logging practices - especially felling of large trees, were disrupting the plants and animals ecosystems and their methods of existence.

The professor of Bryology spoke while delivering the 100th inaugural lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago - Iwoye on Tuesday.

Speaking on the lecture title, "Romance With Mosses," (mosses is one of the non -seed plant species), he said man's  activities have harmed plants and animals in the rainforests ecosystem, explaining that he had deployed the knowledge of bryophytes to ascertain the status of rainforest within his scope of research.

He added that non- seed plants, such as mosses, liverworts and horn worts play a vital role in regulating ecosystems as they provide an important buffer system for other plants while they co-habit and benefit from the water and nutrients that bryophytes collect.

He added that bryophytes serve as very good indicators of habitat quality.

"There will come a time we all wake up to find that animals have taken over the city. Why? As a result of our indiscriminate logging practices. Their ecosystems and method of existence (niche) are under serious threat. Our actions have harmed them.

"Therefore, I chose to employ bryophytes as an indicator species for forest disturbance monitoring to detect even the slightest change long before it is visible to humans." he said.

To arrest the trend of devastation and logging of rainforests with the attendant risks to man eventually, the inaugural lecturer called on individual, community and nation to develop "national reforestation policies" to reduce climate change, stabilise the carbon concentration in the atmosphere and soil air.

He also urged researchers in forestry, ecology and bryology to embrace standard indicator bryophytes to monitor forest disturbances and calculate the age of the nation's rainforests for possible regeneration, preservation and reforestation.

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