Demography and Dynamics of Commonly Harvested Woody Species in A Protected Forest Reserve-Western Zimbabwe

J. Mudekwe

  • Page No: 050 - 059
  • Published online: 07 Jun 2017

  • Abstract

Developing sustainable mechanisms for use-management of forests by user communities has been suggested as a possible solution to the often-observed conflict between forest use and the conservation of protected forests. In Zimbabwe, the use of forest products in protected forests by local communities has a long history, but few studies have explored the ecological aspects of this use.  This study was conducted in a Baikiaea plurijuga forest in Fuller Forest in western Zimbabwe, protected since 1943. It explored the demography and dynamics of commonly harvested woody species in order to establish the present status of populations of these species. This examination, focusing on diameter class distributions, was aimed at informing whether species populations were expanding, stable or declining in view of their capacity to continue providing required goods and services. Results indicated that at present Baikiaea plurijuga, Colophospermum mopane, Brachystegia spiciformis, Diplorhynchus condylocarpon, Commiphora mocambicensis and Bauhinia petersiana out of 14 commonly harvested species appear to have relatively stable populations as indicated by their inverse J-shaped diameter class distribution profiles.

Keywords :   Demography, species, population, conservation, expanding, declining