The Effects of Cultivation History on Forest Recovery in Fallows in the Eastern Arc Mountain, Tanzania
The authors of this study looked at fallows of varying age within systems of shifting cultivation to understand factors that influence their recovery. The authors focused on the role of duration of cultivation and cropping history in influencing recovery. All cropping systems in the area are shade intolerant.
Research Goals & Methods
Primary forests, farms, and fallow areas were surveyed for basal area, stand complexity, and diversity (Fisher's alpha).
Conclusions & Takeaways
Elevation influenced recovery with submontane (800-1600 m) fallows had significantly greater basal area and stand complexity than lowland (300-800 m) fallows, though even after 31 years none of the fallows equaled primary forest values. Fallow age, elevation, and cultivation duration had a significant effect on recovery, while cropping history did not. Lowland fallows had a higher diversity than primary forests. Fallows with primary/dense forest nearby recovered fastest. Recommendations for improving recovery of fallows include planned use of remnant trees, significantly shorter cultivation times, and assisted regeneration.
The effects of cultivation history on forest recovery in fallows in the Eastern Arc Mountain, Tanzania. Forest Ecology and Management. 2011;261:1042–1052. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.12.026..
- Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Campus Morelia, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
- John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, USA