Diversity, distribution, and conservation of millipedes (Myriapoda: Diplopoda) in the Douala-Edéa National Park, Littoral Region of Cameroon





Soil macrofauna, ecology, coastal woodland, tropical Africa


Biodiversity inventories are essential for the management and monitoring of ecosystems, especially in protected tropical areas. In the Afrotropical region, biodiversity conservation initiatives are primarily focused on charismatic vertebrates, while invertebrates such as millipedes, which are largely endemic, have received little attention. To partly fill the gaps of knowledge relating to millipedes, this study was conducted in the Douala-Edéa National Park, one of the most important protected areas in Cameroon. A year-long field survey was conducted using the classical active search method in quadrats. Overall, 36 millipede species belonging to 22 genera and nine families were identified from 799 individuals that were collected. The Chelodesmidae was the richest family (8 species), followed by the Oxydesmidae and the Spirostreptidae (6 species each). The most species-rich habitat was primary forest with 24 species, while the lowest species richness was observed in an agroforest (4 species). Moreover, the highest millipede abundance was observed in open meadows (41.80 % of the total abundance), compared to the agroforest (2.75 % of the total abundance). The primary forest was the most diverse habitat (H’ = 2.86; E = 0.73) compared to the other habitat types. Kartinikus colonus (Spirostreptidae) was widely distributed as it was found in all habitat types, whereas approximately half of the total species recorded (17 species) showed restricted distributions as they were confined to a single habitat. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis revealed that millipede communities in secondary forest, primary forest, mangrove, and agroforest ecosystems were similar and distinct from those in open meadows. Despite the high richness and abundance of millipede species in the Douala-Edéa National Park, anthropogenic activities such as agricultural practices and felling were identified as the main threats to this fauna. Thus, it is crucial to implement conservation initiatives to protect millipede species in this protected area.


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How to Cite

Nzoko Fiemapong, A. R., Yetchom-Fondjo, J. A. ., Tamesse, J. L. ., Mwabvu, T., VandenSpiegel, D., & Golovatch, S. I. (2023). Diversity, distribution, and conservation of millipedes (Myriapoda: Diplopoda) in the Douala-Edéa National Park, Littoral Region of Cameroon. SOIL ORGANISMS, 95(2), 155–172. https://doi.org/10.25674/so95iss2id328