Exotic versus indigenous and implication for Environmental Forestry Management in the Niger Delta, Nigeria
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In recent years, the several causative factors of tree decline have caught our attention in the over 40-year-old University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). Identical tree species decline and causing factors increasingly became persistently epidemic on environmental trees across Niger Delta. Despite the global growing demands on tree landscape systems and new concepts of biosecurity needs, which today expect greater responsibility from different societal groups to align these demands with operational utilization of suitable trees hopefully native species, Nigeria still hugely rely on exotic species for its landscape systems. While a plethora of articles have been aired and documented on Niger Delta contemporary issues in local and international debate convergences, the Oil Exploration and Human Developmental Projects (OEHDPs) effects dominate. This study provided utilization based information on Stress-Pests Infestations (SPIs) factors and challenges related to alien ornamental trees in Niger Delta where anaerobic soil condition perennially exists. Soil moisture stress has been recognized as formidable major threat to the safety of exotic (alien or non native species) trees and predisposing susceptible ornamental tree species to fungi invasions and subsequent infestation of living trees by termites, beetles and of recent weaver birds. To reduce the SPIs effectively, and improve human inhabitations, this study stresses the urgent policy need for a paradigm shift from landscape design utilizing alien tree species to the massive use of indigenous trees species native to Niger Delta region.
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