Natural Regeneration Dynamics of Tree Seedlings on Skid Trails and Tree Gaps Following Selective Logging in a Tropical Moist Semi-Deciduous Forest in Ghana

DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2014.41009   PDF   HTML     3,986 Downloads   6,045 Views   Citations


One of the main threats to the sustainability of timber production in naturally managed forests in Ghana is insufficient regeneration of timber tree species. This study assessed regeneration success of a logged forest by comparing the species composition, diversity, density, recruitment, mortality, and growth of naturally established seedlings in 160 seedling plot samples of 50 m2 located randomly on main skid trails, secondary skid trails, felled tree gaps and unlogged parts of the same forest. The study was done within a 134-ha compartment in a selectively logged moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana over a period of 33 months involving four enumerations. Seedlings population was initially dominated by pioneers, but after 33 months, population in all sites was dominated by non-pioneers. Seedling densities showed an increase initially in all the sites after logging, but declined after 10 months. The high seedling densities were driven by four (Albizia zygia, Ceiba pentandra, Celtis mildbraedii and Turreanthus africanus) out of the 37 species that regenerated. All four species exhibited a period of exceptionally high new seedling recruitment in the first 10 months. Diversity differed significantly among disturbance types initially, but after 33 months diversity was lower in the unlogged areas though not significant. Seedling mortality was initially greater in unlogged areas of the forest and growth rates higher in the logged areas. These results show that disturbed areas appear to be suitable sites for the regeneration of timber species following logging, although the long-term fate of trees growing on these areas remains uncertain as growth rates declined with time.

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Duah-Gyamfi, A. , Kyereh, B. , Adam, K. , Agyeman, V. & Swaine, M. (2014). Natural Regeneration Dynamics of Tree Seedlings on Skid Trails and Tree Gaps Following Selective Logging in a Tropical Moist Semi-Deciduous Forest in Ghana. Open Journal of Forestry, 4, 49-57. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2014.41009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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