Forest Succession in Kibale National Park, Uganda: Implications for Forest Restoration and Management
This sudy examines forest succession in 4 plots in former grasslands adjacent to mature forests in Kibale National Park, Ngogo, Uganda. These plots were located in areas protected from fire for .58,25,9 and 30 years for plots 1,2, 3, and 4 respectively.
Research Goals & Methods
The long-term effects of fire exclusion on species diversity, tree density, basal area and the importance of animal dispersers in forest succession were monitored. The objective of this study was to provide baseline data for monitoring succession rates, growth and mortality rates of trees growing in former grasslands at Ngogo in Kibale.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The results presented are partial results of an ongoing natural process that suggests that reforestation can be achieved by fire exclusion alone. Species richness was highest in plot 4, which had the longest period of exclusion in contrast to plot 1 that had the shortest fire exclusion with the lowest species richness. Plots 1,2, 3 and 4 had 441,1796,1203 and 2032 stems/ hectare, respectively. Total basal area for plots 1,2, 3 and 4 was 5.3,28.7,13.4 and 19.8 m2/ha, respectively. Stem density and basal area values varied among species. In summary, the author suggests that forests are capable of recolonizing grasslands without human intervention, provided that seed sources and dispersers ae available. In addition, some forest tree species are capable of colonizing pyrogenic grasslands close to mature forests; fire is an important factor hindering forest succession in grasslands.
Forest succession in Kibale National Park, Uganda: implications for forest restoration and management. African Journal of Ecology. 2003;41:9–22. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2028.2003.00400.x..
- Makerere University Biological Field Station, Fort Portal, Uganda