Characteristics and management potential of some indigenous firewood species in Malawi

Abstract

Taking a case study from Malawi's Central Region, this paper identifies the locally important firewood species and discusses options for their management. The wood properties (moisture content and density) of 15 commonly used indigenous firewood species were determined and according to the fuel value index employed, the high grade firewoods were Combretum apiculatum, Pericopsis angolensis and C. molle. Supported by socio-economic, inventory and ecological data, the status (stocking and basic density) and coppice management of the preferred firewoods was then discussed. Whilst the high grade species had a low stocking in the woodland, their coppicing response was good, reaching a mean basal diameter of 4.4 cm and mean height of 3.3 m in 4 years. The paper proposes that these species be managed for domestic firewood on a coppice rotation of 5 years upwards and recommends that national policies for fuelwood production develop mechanisms for incorporating the rural woodland users into the management process.

Citation

Abbot, P.G.; Lowore, J.D. Characteristics and management potential of some indigenous firewood species in Malawi. Forest Ecology and Management (1999) 119 (1-3) 111-121. [DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00516-7]

Characteristics and management potential of some indigenous firewood species in Malawi

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