Changes following 60 years of selective timber harvesting in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda

Abstract

The controlled extraction of timber from the Budongo Forest Reserve began in the 1930s. From the start of the operations it was intended that the timber should be harvested on a sustainable yield basis and the first of several 10-year working plans for the forest was drawn up in 1933. This paper documents the volume of timber removed, the date of logging, date of arboricide treatment and volume of arboricide applied in most compartments in the forest. Four species of mahogany formed about 65% of the timber extracted and this remained almost constant over the years despite attempts to encourage the use of other species by the Uganda Forest Department. Forest type maps made from sets of aerial photographs taken in 1951 and 1990 showed an increase in ‘mixed forest’ at the expense of ‘Cynometr forest’; one of the major aims of the arboricide treatment.

Ordination of the basal areas of the common tree species showed that the geographical position of a compartment explained more of the variation in species distribution than the variation between adjacent logged and unlogged compartments. A more detailed inventory of all species of tree in eight compartments across the forest showed greater species richness in the west of the forest and greater species richness in logged compartments. Measures of forest structure showed that more than 50 years is required for the forest to recover to pre-logging levels.

Citation

Forest Ecology and Management (1996) 89 (1-3) 101-113. [doi:10.1016/S0378-1127(96)03854-6]

Changes following 60 years of selective timber harvesting in the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda

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