The Restoration of Degraded Forests in Ghana: A Case Study in the Offinso Forest District
This study investigates how density and diversity of key native tree saplings differ in different plantation stand types in plantations adjacent to a degraded forest reserve in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The influence of overstory species composition on natural regeneration of single exotic (Cedrella odorata and Tectona grandis) and mixed stands (Khaya grandifoliola, Antiaris toxicaria, Ceiba pentandra, Triplochiton scleroxylon, Terminalia superb, Terminalia ivorensis and Anopyxis klaineana) of native species was assessed.
Research Goals & Methods
Native tree species were identified and their density and diversity of naturally regenerated saplings of key native species in the 2 plantation types were assessed. 52 saplings of native tree species were identified and counted in the forest stand types in the study area. The top ten most useful species were also present in the study area.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The results indicate no significant differences existed between the diversity of the top ten socio-economic native tree species in the 2 plantations. Suggesting that these two plantations have similar potential in facilitating native tree regeneration. This is attributed to similar spacing and management measures put in place for both plantations. The degraded forest showed slightly a higher diversity compared to the plantations. Compared to the degraded forest (the control), the mixed stands showed no significant differences. In contrast, compared to the teak stand there was a significant difference between diversities of the natural forest and teak plantation. This could be attributed to the similar species in the overstory of both the natural forest and mixed plantation stand. Suggesting that plantation overstory does have an influence on the understory tree species. The authors recommend plantations be used as a rehabilitating tool in degraded forestland in Ghana. They strongly recommend mixed species plantations for restoration as they show higher proficiency in accelerating the restoration process. Where monoculture plantations are employed they recommend intensive management practices such as thinning and weeding to facilitate native species regeneration.
The restoration of degraded forests in Ghana: a case study in the Offinso forest district. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America. 2011;2:134–142. doi:10.5251/abjna.2011.2.1.134.142..
- University for Development Studies, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Tamale, Ghana