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Ecological Services of a Peri-Urban Recreation Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

JA Soaga 1*, A Adeleye2

1Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Nigeria

2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California

*Corresponding Author:
JA Soaga
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management,
Federal University of Agriculture,
Abeokuta Nigeria;
Email: [email protected]

Received: 12-Jul-2022, Manuscript No. JEAES-22- 69128; Editor assigned: 15- Jul -2022, Pre QC No. JEAES- 22-69128 (PQ); Reviewed: 29- Jul -2022, QC No. JEAES-22- 69128; Revised: 05-Oct-2022, Manuscript No. JEAES-22- 69128 (R); Published: 12-Oct- 2022, DOI: 10.4172/2347- 7830.10.08.001

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Purpose: This study examines the consumption of renewable natural resources without market price by the people to promote conservation in the outlier of urban environment. The resources however offer ecosystem services to protect man and the environment .

Methods: Socio economic profile of respondents and natural resources data were gathered using two methods. Questionnaire as a socio economic tool was used to gather data from respondents for socio-economic profile and natural resources data were obtained through bio-physical study of available renewable resources. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis.

Results: The result shows gender sensitivity with female domination (64%) of the respondents and 36% male, age range 21-40 years accounted for 43% with mean age of 41 years. Further, some (44%) respondents were Christian, Tertiary education recorded the highest educational level with 53% and Ogun state had the highest State of origin distribution with 77%. A total of 30 flora species w as identified and family fabaceae with 6 species contributed more to the ecosystem services of the park than other families with 3 species. Furthermore, trees with diameter >11 cm had higher carbon sequestration potential with 1009,776 kgCha−1, Above Ground Biomass of 2456.795 kg and Below Ground Biomass of 272.33 kg. A total of 25 fauna species was recorded as offering ecosystem services and Mammals with 31 species had the highest number of species offering ecosystem services followed by Aves with 14 speci es and reptiles with 13 species.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the study revealed that flora and fauna species offer a wide range of ecosystem services ranging from cultural, supporting, regulating, and provisioning services. It is suggested that recreation policy should ensure that proper and adequate sensitization through electronic media to enlighten the general public on recreation and the significance of flora and fauna in human health and the environment.


Ecological services; Recreation; Flora species; Carbon sequestration; Biomass


Ecosystem services and human welfare are interconnected through the link of supply of environmental goods and services from natural areas. Therefore, any alteration to the supply link requires proper understanding of both tangible and intangible benefits form the environment [1]. The tangible benefits are easily measured through direct market approach because they are traded in the market with prices dictated by demand and supply for example water treatment cost or market prices of food items.

However, Intangible benefits, or non-traded products that may be referred to as Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES), are dificult to evaluate due to absence of existing markets for the products (but not impossible) using methods that rely on human preferences to measure demand for the products. Consequently, it is not an over statement that ecosystems goods and services play major role in the existence of humanity [2]. Globally, communities and societies exploit nature for array of benefits ranging from ecological, economic to aesthetic-cultural values. More than 60 percent of the global population depends on plants for their medicine. Aesthetic cultural values like nature tourism are also provided through ecosystems. However, over dependence on these resources by man along with other anthropological activities, altered the balance between man and the environment in the negative direction towards environment thus leading to climate change, loss of habitat and a continuous loss of the earth's biodiversity [3]. The concept of peri urban and peri urbanization can be described as loose concepts. They may be used to describe newly urbanized zones at the fringes of cities mostly in developing countries, which may later be referred to as ‘peri urban interface’. Perhaps, emerging European perspective shows peri urban areas to be mixed areas under an urban influence but with a rural morphology.

According to, reported that develops one of the most acceptable classifications in the study of ecosystem services. The classification approach divides the services into four sections: provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services. Provisioning services refer to tangible goods obtained from ecosystems; Regulating services refer to benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes; Cultural services intangible products or non-material benefits obtained from the ecosystem and supporting services support production of all other services [4]. Thus, ecosystem services are mostly undervalued and therefore fail to show the significance of the services to humanity on a global scale. This underscores the objectives of this study which are to identify zoo park flora and fauna providing ecological services for biodiversity conservation and climate protection and to describe the profile of visitors to the zoo park.

Materials and Methods

The study area

The study was conducted in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) zoo park (Figure 1), Ogun State, Nigeria. It is located on latitude 7.2°N; Longitude 3.4°E. FUNAAB Zoo Park is directly managed by the university through a zoo directorate created by the institution [5].


Figure 1: Map of FUNAAB zoo park, Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria.

The zoo park was commissioned in May 23, 2012. The study accommodated feral animals i.e. free roaming living animals and the zoo animals i.e. animals under captivity (especially the carnivorous animals) in the FUNAAB zoo park. The zoo park was established on the tripodal mandate of the university of teaching, research and extension. The park, though for recreation also serves as field laboratory for students practical in terms of teaching, conservation for research and wildlife identification for extension services [6]. The zoo park occupies a forty hectare land in the northern fringes of Ogun state, Nigeria in derived savanna vegetation.

Scope of study

The study was divided into two; Socio economic study and biophysical study.

Socio economic study

Data collection: Data were collected from 100 visitors with structured questionnaire at the zoo park using simple random sampling technique. Furthermore, personal contacts, oral interviews and observations were used during visitation; this aided the data collection.

Biophysical study sampling procedure: A systematic sampling technique was used to collect data from the study area. Four plots of 10 m by 10 m were laid close to the major animal sections in the park and complete enumeration was carried out within the plots to estimate carbon sequestration potential of plants and animals [7].

Aboveground Biomass (AGB) Estimation: The rate of carbon sequestration depends on the growth characteristics of the plant species, the conditions for growth, where the plant is located and the density for woody stems. For the purpose of this research, recourse was made to the dry weight technique for biomass estimation used by Aboal JR, et al. Thus, non-destructive method of estimating tree carbon weight was adopted for the purpose of this study.

Girth measurement: The girth of individual tree species was obtained with the aid of girthing tape at 1.3 m and the unit of measurement (cm) and was converted to m using 0.3 m correction factor.

Tree height: Tree height was measured with haga altimeter calibrated before use i.e. 9 m for tall trees and 3 m for short trees.

Above ground biomass of a tree was calculated as follows:

For trees with diameter less than 11 cm: W=0.25D2H and W=0.15D2H for dbh ≥ 11 cm

W=Above ground biomass (Kg)

D=Dbh of the trunk (m)

H=Height (m)

Below Ground Biomass (BGB) Estimation: Regression models were used to predict root biomass based on the Above Ground Biomass (ABG). Root to shoot (RS) ratio provide general description of the relationship between roots and shoots biomass. The allometric model proposed for the root biomass assessment is:

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × ln (AGB) +0.1045.ln (AGE) (1)

Carbon sequestration: The combination ratio derived from the atomic weights of the elements making up CO2 molecule to that of carbon (C), i.e. 3.7 was used to estimate sequestered CO2. Ratio (3.7) was multiplied with (AGB) and (BGB) for different trees to estimate CO2 sequestered.

Total CO2 sequestrated=3.7* (AGB + BGB) (2)

Data analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize socio economic characteristics of respondents, perception and preferences of services generated in the study area [8].

Likert scale: Likert scale with class boundaries of means were used to draw inferences on perception. Statements as variables in 5 perceptional arrangements were presented to the respondents for rating ranging from strongly agreed (5), agreed (4), undecided (3), disagreed (2) and strongly disagreed (1). For inferences, class boundaries are: < 1.5=Strongly disagreed, ≥ 1.5 <2.5=Disagreed; ≥ 2.5 <3.5=Undecided; ≥ 3.5<4.5=Agreed; ≥ 4.0 ≤ 5.0=Strongly agreed.

Results and Discussion

Socio economic characteristics of respondents

Table 1 shows that Ogun State has the highest State of origin distribution with 77%, the study is gender sensitive with majority, (64%) of the respondents were female and 36% male, household 3–6 members recorded the highest percentage of 67% with mean household size of 6 [9]. Age distribution shows age bracket (21-40 yrs) accounted for 43% with mean age of 41 years. Furthermore, some respondents were Christian with 44%, Tertiary education (53%) recorded the highest level of education. Majority, (67%) came from Abeokuta the catchment location of the park. Also, majority, (68%) visit alternative recreation centres.

Variables Frequency Percentage Mean/Mode
Age (Years)      
≤ 20 21 21  
21-40 43 43 41
41-60 19 19  
≥ 60 17 17  
Total 100 100  
Male 64 64  
Female 36 36  
Total 100 100  
Family size
≤ 2 21 21  
03-06 67 67 6
≥6 12 12  
Total 100 100  
Ogun 77 77 Ogun
Oyo 12 12  
lagos 11 11  
Total 100 100  
Christian 44 44  
Muslim 35 35  
Traditional 21 21  
Total 100 100  
Tertiary 53 53 Tertiary
Secondary 23 23  
No formal education 11 11  
Total 100 100  
Income (₦)      
5,000 – 10,000 18 18 ₦26,521
10,000 – 15,000 24 24  
15,000 – 20,000 12 12  
≥ 20,000 46 46  
Total 100 100  
Native of Abeokuta      
Yes 67 67 Yes
No 33 33  
Total 100 100  
Civil servant 33 32  
Farming 21 21  
Artisan 22 22  
Self employed 25 25  
Total 100 100  
Are you aware of substitute recreation centres
Yes 67 67 Yes
No 33 33  
Total 100 100  

Table 1. Socio economic characteristics of respondent.

Bio physical study

Table 2 presents a checklist of flora species in the zoo park. A total of 30 plant species was identified with 17 families. Fabaceae family with 6 species recorded the highest number of species. Other families were as follows; Moraceae (2), Anacardiaceae (2), Euphorbiaceae (3), Apocynaceae (2), Gentianaceae (1), Poaceae (1), Sapindaceae (2), Malvaceae (3), Ulmaceae (1), Ebeneceae (1), Meliaceae (1), Areceae (1), Samydaceae (2).

S/N Species Common name Local name (Yoruba) Forms Family
1 Ficus exasperate Sandpaper tree Ipin Tree Moraceae
2 Mangifera indica Mango Mangoro Tree Anacardiaceae
3 Anarcadium occidentalis Cashew Kasu Tree Anacardiaceae
4 Albizia adianthifolia Flat crown - Tree Fabaceae
5 Albizia ferruginea Albizia - Tree Fabacea
6 Albizia zygia Albizia - Tree Fabacea
7 Alcornea cordifolia Christmas bush - Shrub Euphorbiaceae
8 Alcornea laxifora Lowveld bead- string - Shrub Euphorbiaceae
9 Alstonia boonei God’s tree - Tree Apocynaceae
10 Antiaris Africana Mull berry - Tree Moraceae
11 Anthocleista vogelii Planch tree - Tree Gentianaceae
12 Bambusa vulgaris Bamboo Oparun Grass Poaceae
13 Baphia nitida Camwood - Tree Fabaceae
14 Blighia sapida Achee - Tree Sapindaceae
15 Blighia unijugata Triangle tops - Tree Sapindaceae
16 Bridelia artroviridis Bredelia - Tree Euphorbiaceae
17 Ceiba pentandra Kapok - Tree Malvaceae
18 Celtis zenkeri African celtis - Tree Ulmaceae
19 Chrysophyllum albidum Cherry Agbalumo Tree Sapotaceae
20 Cola nitida Kola Obi Tree Malvaceae
21 Cola millenii Kola Obi Tree Malvaceae
22 Delonix regia Royal tree - Tree Fabaceae
23 Diospyros dendo Yellow persimmon - Tree Ebenaceae
24 Entandrophragma angolense Utile - Tree Meliaceae
25 Elaeis guineensis Oil palm - Tree Arecaceae
26 Funtumia elastica   - Tree Apocynaceae
27 Guarea thomsonii Black guarea - Tree Meliaceae
28 Gliricidia sepium Gliricidia - Tree Fabaceae
29 Holoptelea grandis   -   Samydaceae
30 Homalium africanum   -   Samydaceae

Table 2. Checklist of plant species in the study area.

Above ground biomass of tree species <11 cm DBH

Table 3 shows the species with diameter less than 11cm. Tree height with diameter was used to calculate the above ground biomass using model 1.

Species No of stem Mean DBH Mean height Model AGB (kg)
Delonix regia 3 7.8 11.1 W=0.25D2H 43.29
Bridelia artroviridis 3 10.7 19.9 W=0.25D2H 106.47
Ceiba pentandra 10 7.8 17.7 W=0.25D2H 69.03
Cola millenii 7 7.8 23.8 W=0.25D2H 185.64
Diospyros dendo 8 10.8 25.6 W=0.25D2H 138.24
Total 542.67

Table 3. Above ground biomass of tree species <11 cm DBH.

Below ground biomass computation

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × ln (AGB) +0. 1045. ln (Age)

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × ln (542.67) +0. 1045. ln (542.67)

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × 6.297) +0.1045. (6.297)

BGB=exp (4.263) +0.6580


BGB=71.681 kg

Total CO2 sequestrated

Total CO2 sequestrated=3.7* (AGB+BGB)

=3.7* (542.67+BGB)

=3.7* (542.67+71.681

Total CO2 sequestrated =227310 kgCha−1

Above ground biomass of tree species >11 cm DBH

Table 4 indicated the species with diameter greater than or equal to 11 cm. Tree height along with the dbh was used to calculate the above ground biomass using model 2.

Species No of stem Mean DBH Mean height Model AGB (kg)
Ficus exasperata 9 11.8 9.3 W=0.15D2H 32.92
Anarcadium occidentalis 12 12 10.4 W=0.15D2H 37.44
Albizia adianthifolia 5 13 11.7 W=0.15D2H 45.63
Albizia ferruginea 7 12.4 9.2 W=0.15D2H 34.22
Albizia zygia 4 24.1 11 W=0.15D2H 72.22
Alstonia boonei 8 18 18.2 W=0.15D2H 98.28
Antiaris africana            9 16 16.5 W=0.15D2H 79.2
Anthocleista vogelii 2 14.4 20.5 W=0.15D2H 88.56
Bambusa vulgaris 10 26.1 24.2 W=0.15D2H 189.49
Baphia nitida 10 40 18.4 W=0.15D2H 220.8
Blighia sapida 5 18.1 16.9 W=0.15D2H 91.77
Blighia unijugata 7 21.9 18 W=0.15D2H 118.26
Celtis zenkeri 9 12 31.5 W=0.15D2H 113.4
Chrysophyllum albidum 5 13 20.6 W=0.15D2H 80.34
Cola nitida 8 11.8 16.1 W=0.15D2H 56.99
Entandrophragma angolense 11 12 22.7 W=0.15D2H 81.72
Elaeis guineensis 6 13 22.5 W=0.15D2H 87.75
Funtumia elastica 8 12.4 32 W=0.15D2H 119.04
Guarea thompsonii 10 24.1 34.5 W=0.15D2H 249.435
Gliricidia sepium 11 39 17.8 W=0.15D2H 208.26
Holoptelea grandis 11 17.1 24.2 W=0.15D2H 124.15
Homalium africanum 6 20 24.2 W=0.15D2H 145.2
Mangifera indica 8 12.2 15.9 W=0.15D2H 81.72
Total 2456.795

Table 4. Above ground biomass of tree species > 11 cm DBH.

Below ground biomass computation

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × ln (AGB) + 0.1045. ln (AGE)

BGB=exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × ln (2456.795) + 0.1045. ln (2456.795)

BGB = exp (-1.3267+0.8877 × 7.807) +0.1045 (7.807)

BGB=exp (5.604) +0.8158


BGB=272.33 kg

Total CO2 sequestrated: 3.7* (AGB+BGB)

=3.7* (2456.795+BGB)

=3.7* (2456.795+272.33)

=3.7* (2729.125)

=10097.76=1009776 kgCha−1

Ecosystem services of the flora species

Provisioning services: These are services that describe the material or energy outputs from the ecosystems. Provisioning services offered by the floristic resources of the study were categorized into food/fruit production and medicinal values [10]. Majority, (60%) of the plants encountered offers provisioning services while Fabaceae (33%) recorded the highest percentage of plants offering this service (Table 5).

Family Plant species Number of species Percent
Anacardiaceae  Mangifera indica 2 11
Anarcadium occidentalis
Fabaceae Albizia adianthifolia 6 33
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia zygia
Baphia nitida
Gliricidia sepium
Delonix regia
Poaceae Bambusa vulgaris 1 6
Malvacea Ceiba pentandra Cola nitida 3 17
Cola millenii
Palmae Elaeis guineensis 1 6
Euphorbiacea Alcornea cordifolia 3 17
Alcornea laxiflora
Bridelia artroviridis
Sapotaceae Chrysophyllum albidum 1 6
Apocynaceae Funtumia elastica 1 6

Table 5. Plant species offering provisioning services in the park.

Cultural services: These are non-material benefits people obtained from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment cognitive development, reflection, recreation and aesthetic experiences. Accordingly, plants at children play ground provides educational values and these plants are Ficus exasperata, Albizia zygia, Alstonea boonei, Antaris africana, Ceiba pentandra. Table 6 shows that moraceae (40%) recorded the highest percentage of plants offering this service.

Family Plant species Number of Species Percent
Fabaceae Albizia zygia 1 20
Apocynaceae Alstonia boonei 1 20
Moraceae Antiaris africana 2 40
Ficus exasperata
Malvaceae Ceiba pentandra 1 20

Table 6. Plant species offering cultural services in the park.

Regulating services: These are services rendered by trees to address all forms of biological control. All plants encountered perform various regulating services varying from air quality regulation, water regulation and climate regulation. Table 7 shows that Fabaceae had the highest percentage (20%) of plants offering regulating services in the park [11,12].

Family Plant species Number of Species Percent
Anacardiaceae Mangifera indica 2 7
Anarcadium occidentalis
Fabaceae Albizia adianthifolia 6 20
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia zygia
Baphia nitida
Gliricidia sepium
Delonix regia
Poaceae Bambusa vulgaris 1 3
Malvaceae Ceiba pentandra Cola nitida 3 10
Cola millenii
Palmae Elaeis guineensis 1 3
Euphorbiaceae Alcornea  cordifolia 3 10
Alcornea laxiflora Bridelia artroviridis
Sapotaceae Chrysophyllum albidum 1 3
Apocynaceae Funtumia elastica 1 3
Moraceae Antiaris africana 2 7
Ficus exasperata
Gentianaceae Anthocleista vogelii 1 3
Poaceae Bambusa vulgaris 1 3
Sapindaceae Blighia sapida 2 7
Blighia unijugata
Ulmaceae Celtis zenkeri 1 3
Ebenaceae Diospyros dendo 1 3
Meliaceae Guarea thomsonii 2 7
Entandrophragma angolense
Samydaceae Holoptelea grandis 2 7
Homalium africanum

Table 7. Plant species offering regulating services in the park.

Ecosystem services of the fauna species

Ecosystem services provided by the fauna species across the fauna group was conducted. The ecosystem services reviewed are provisioning services, supporting services, regulatory services and cultural services. Details of the ecosystem services are presented in Table 8 [13]. A total of 25 fauna species were recorded as offering ecosystem services [14-17]. A breakdown of the number of species with respect to fauna group revealed that mammals with 31 species had the highest number of species offering ecosystem service, followed by Aves with 14 species and reptiles with 13 species.

Ecosystem services Mammals Aves Reptiles
Provisioning 12 7 6
Regulating 2 - 1
Cultural 11 7 6
Supporting 6 - -
Total 31 14 13

Table 8. Ecosystem services of the fauna species.

Table 9 shows the list of animals in the park offering the different ecosystem services. Thus, various animal groups offer ecosystem services from the avian and reptiles to mammals [18].

Provisioning services Regulating services Cultural services Supporting services
Avian Avian Avian Avian
African grey parrot - African grey parrot -
Rose ringed parakeet - Rose ringed parakeet -
Crown crane - Crown crane -
Mallard duck - Mallard duck -
White geese - White geese -
Yellow billed kite - Yellow billed kite -
Ostrich - Ostrich -
Reptiles Reptiles Reptiles Reptiles
Water turtles - Water turtles -
Monitor lizard - Monitor lizard -
Crocodile Crocodile Crocodile -
Gabon viper - Gabon viper -
Puff adder - Puff adder -
Rock python - Rock python -
Mammals Mammals Mammals Mammals
Antelopes Common jackal Donkeys Antelopes
Donkeys Civet cat Common jackal Donkey
Common jackal - Civet cat Mona monkey
Civet cat - Crested porcupine Vervet monkey
Crested porcupine - Giant Tortoise Red capped mangabey
Giant Tortoise - Patas monkey White putty nosed monkey
Patas monkey - White putty-nosed monkey -
White putty-nosed monkey - Mona monkey -
Mona monkey - Vervet monkey -
Vervet monkey - Red capped mangabey -
Red capped mangabey - Baboon -
Baboon - - -

Table 9. Fauna species in the park offering ecosystem services.


This study has shown that zoopark as a recreation centre offers a wide range of ecosystem services in terms of provisioning, cultural, supporting and regulating services. Supporting services, such as, microclimate regulation, soil formation, primary production, nutrient cycling or biogeochemical cycling, water cycling, photosynthesis and pollination are services that support the production of all other ecosystem services; therefore, they are non-marketable within the park. The carbon sequestration evaluation in FUNAAB zoo park was in line with UNFCCC and Kyoto carbon credit trading while substantiating the importance of preserving our tree species. This is because recent importance has been attached to emissions reduction from tropical deforestation in future climate change policy. Thus, it will be wise to consider the possibilities of having more plant species in our recreation centers for biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. These species of trees will not only aid in CO2 sequestration but also provide services ranging from shade, food and other unquantifiable benefits for the populace.

Suggestions include government to put in place appropriate measures to include peri urban recreation centers with more flora and fauna as part of community development plans since Zoo Park is part of the environment. Thus, recreation policy should ensure proper and adequate sensitization through electronic media to enlighten the general public on the importance of flora and fauna and most especially the flora (trees) in our entire environment while ensuring sustainable development.