The effect of a Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Dehn) plantation on native woodland recovery on Ulumba Mountain, Southern Malawi
Floral composition and diversity were assessed under an 8-year-old Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Dehn) stand, a 1-year-old E. camaldulensis coppice and an unplanted control site. The study site originally supported Miombo woodland, which had become degraded through over harvesting and was subsequently cleared and burned prior to the establishment of the Eucalyptus plantation. Within nine circular 5 m metre radius plots at each site, the number and species of all trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers and the percentage canopy cover were recorded. Analysis of floristic data using DECORANA and TWINSPAN revealed that the tree and shrub composition of the three sites differed. The herbaceous species composition of the control site was similar to that of the plantation stand. Diversity, measured by the Shannon–Wiener index, was significantly higher in the coppice plot than in the control site and the 8-year-old stand. Floral diversity was inversely related to canopy cover, with a correlation coefficient of −0.463. The effect of the plantation on species composition is discussed with respect to the demand for woodland products expressed by the local community.
Forest Ecology and Management (1997) 99 (1/2) 83-99 [10.1016/S0378-1127(97)00196-5]