Regeneration of Timber Species following Selective Logging in a Moist Semi-Deciduous Forest in Ghana
This study examines the types and frequency of natural regeneration and growth of timber tree species in 4 logging gaps: loading bays, tree-fall, primary and secondary skid trails with forest shade as control in a moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana.
Research Goals & Methods
Four logging gaps were treated as experimental gaps and were measured for size and microclimatic variables such as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), relative humidity and temperature. In addition, tree seedling emergence was enumerated for a period of 19 months.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The results showed that the loading bay had the highest irradiance of between 50-82% of full sunlight while the forest understory had the lowest of between 2-5% of sunlight. Also, the relative abundance of pioneers reduced with decreasing gap size. Pioneers were relatively abundant in the loading bays followed by tree fall gaps with the forest understory having the lowest number of pioneers. The smaller gaps-skid trails and forest understory had relatively high percentages of non-pioneer light demanders compared to the other guilds. Tree seedling emergence was higher on secondary skid trails than other gaps. Overall the trend in net seedling numbers increased for the first 8 months after logging with a decline for the rest of the months up to the termination of the study. At the close of the study only 44% of the peak month seedling population was present. Only pioneer species recorded an increase in seedling population in the loading bays from 89% in the 8th month to 100% in the 27th month while non-pioneer light demanders reduced to zero. Ceiba pentandra, a pioneer species increased in dominance in the loading bay gaps. The reason being the comparatively high mortality rates of the seedlings of the other guilds over time. Hence, the results showed none of the traditionally desirable species such a Khaya ivorensis, Entandrophragma among others, growing the gaps studied. If similar patterns exist in other compartments in this and other reserves, the future stocking of the forests in Ghana will be of a lower commercial value.
Regeneration of timber species following selective logging in a moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana. Ghana Journal of Forestry. 2007;17. doi:10.4314/gjf.v17i1.36903..
- Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana