THE ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT OF RAILWAY OPERATION ON THE FLORA DIVERSITY ON RAIL EMBANKMENT IN TWO STATIONS, DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
This study was carried out with the aim of anticipating the effects of anthropogenic activities on the plant species flora on railway embankment in Urhuovie-Abraka and Ujevwu-Warri train stations in Delta State, Nigeria. Quadrat sampling method using line transect was adopted for the collection of plant species along the designated embankment of the rail track. Twelve (12) plant species were encountered and documented within the designated rail track at Ujevwu train station, Warri. The species of plant encountered in the railway station cut across six (6) different families including Poaceae as the most dominant family with four (4) representative species, followed by Fabaceae which had three (3) species. Asteraceae family was represented by two (2) species while Cyperaceae, Malvaceae and Plantaginaceae families were represented by single species whereas in Urhuovie-Abraka train station, A total of ten (10) plant species were encountered which cut across five (5) different families including Asteraceae (2), Convolvulaceae (1), Fabaceae (4), Malvaceae (1) and Poaceae (2). Ujevwu-Warri rail track had more plant species (12) than that of Urhuovie-Abraka station (10). Activities around these rail tracks included open cattle grazing, emerging human communities and periodic cutting of plant species to prevent the plant species encroaching into the rail track which could hinder the smooth operation of the railway system.