All woody growth was enumerated in three transects, each 960 m x 20 m, in derived savanna in the Olokemeji Forest Reserve in south-west Nigeria. The data for species density, species basal area and stem girth classes were analysed by nested-block analysis of variance and covariance. The use of ‘total covariance’, the sum of all covariances at a block size, contributes to understanding of the pattern present.
Three scales of pattern were evident. Patchiness at 160–320 m is interpreted as a response to soil differences or to the pattern of previous farming, which may itself have been determined by soil differences. Patchiness at 20–40 m is attributable to varying intensity of burning. At the smallest scale, of 10 m, there is evidence of regularity of distribution resulting from interference between individuals, possibly due to competition for water.