Assessment of diversity and composition of tree species in residential areas of Chobe district, northern Botswana.
A vegetation survey was conducted in Chobe district to document tree species in residential areas. The survey resulted in 44 tree species, representing 44 genera and 22 families across the nine study villages. The diversity and evenness ranged from 2.47-3.15 and 0.77-0.90, respectively. An average of 19, 7 and 5 native, exotic and alien tree species respectively, were recorded. The most frequent native tree species, e.g. Baikiaea plurijuga, in the residential areas was also the dominant species in the neighbouring woodlands, suggesting that the species was retained when the woodlands were converted to residential use. The indigenous fruit bearing tree species, namely Berchemia discolor and Sclerocarya birrea, and the exotic fruit-bearing tree species, namely Carica papaya and Mangifera indica, were dominant in most residential areas, signifying their contribution to household food security. Invasive alien tree species, Jatropha curcas and Leucaena leucocephala were most frequent and, therefore, need continuous monitoring to prevent their spread into natural ecosystems. The study recommends raising of public awareness about invasiveness of alien invasive tree species.