Population structure and regeneration status of prunus Africana (Hoof.f.) Kalkm. after selective and clear felling in Kibale National Park, Uganda.
Owiny, Arthur A.
Malinga, Geoffrey M.
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Prunus Africana is aglobally threatened indigenous medicinal tree species, and food for many primates. Its population has declined in sub-Saharan Africa due to unsustainable harvest and poor protection. In this study, we determined the population density, population structure and regeneration status of P. Africana in the former clear felled, selectively logged and primary forests of kibale National Park, and assessed the effects of dense cover of Acanthus pubescens on its regeneration. Trees were measured from 180 randomly established plots. The densities of P. Africana seedlings and saplings differed significantly among the three forests while that of poles and mature trees did not. The density of seedlings was significantly higher in the selectively logged than in primary forests. The density of saplings was higher in clear felled than selectively logged forests. Tree density was not negatively affected by A. pubescens cover. Clear felled areas had a more stable population structure with better regeneration, while selectively logged and primary forests had unstable population structures with poor recruitment potential. Our results show that P. Africana regenerates more in intensively disturbed forest areas than less disturbed or primary forests, highlighting the importance of regenerating forests in the conservation of P. Africana.