Intensive Tree Planting Facilitates Tropical Forest Biodiversity and Biomass Accumulation in Kibale National Park, Uganda
This study investigates how intensive planting affects tropical forest regeneration and biomass accumulation in reforested sites in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The study assessed species richness of naturally regenerating (i.e. non-planted) species in the park and compared the biomass accumulation of planted versus naturally regenerating trees in sites replanted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Research Goals & Methods
The species planted in the restoration sites were collected from the wild, transferred to a nursery and transplanted to the sites. 9 species commonly found in regenerating sites were investigated. Tree allometric equations were developed to determine the dry biomass of the trees. In addition, seed sizes of natural regenerating seeds were measured to determine the role of birds and large mammals in moving seed dispersal.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The results show the mean predicted biomass of planted trees in the 8 compartments was 15,657kg/ha- 26,916kg/ha, while the mean biomass of the naturally regenerating trees was 4560kg/ha – 11,470kg/ha, representing 22.5% of the total biomass. The presence of Mimusops bagshawei, Chrysophyllum albidum, Pseudospondias microcarpa, and Erythrina abyssinica, Kigelia africana seeds suggest mammals and birds as seed dispersal agents using these restoration habitats. The results suggest that the replanting program was successful in accumulating biomass of planted trees and showed that native trees establish naturally under planted trees. Also, evidence from large and small-seeded tree species imply that bird and mammals are using the reforested habitats and contributing to natural forest restoration.
Intensive tree planting facilitates tropical forest biodiversity and biomass accumulation in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Forest Ecology and Management. 2011;261:703–709. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.11.029.
- McGill University, McGill School of Environment, Montreal, Canada