Assessment of Natural Regeneration Potential of Tree Species in Image Forest Reserve, Tanzania
Plants natural regeneration is a means to forest recovery after disturbances in a particular ecosystem. Forest recovery in any particular ecosystem depends on the growth stages of tree species. This study assessed the tree species regeneration potential in the disturbed Image Forest Reserve. An assessment was carried out in 170 sample plots of 20 m x 40 m each that were established in the three different land cover types, namely forest (67 plots), woodland (65 plots), and wooded grassland (38 plots). A total of 153 tree species distributed among 59 families and 122 genera were identified. Each of the three land cover types recorded a higher number of saplings than poles and seedlings. The low number of individuals for seedlings was caused by human disturbances that killed them. The human disturbances included wildfires, livestock grazing, and felling trees during logging for timber. The number of poles decreased because several saplings failed to survive due to anthropogenic activities. ANOVA statistical test results revealed a significant difference in trees growth stages (p < 0.05), while there was no significant difference in H' (p > 0.05) in the tree growth stages within the land cover types. Image Forest Reserve accommodates relatively high plant species diversity Therefore, the conservation of Image Forest Reserve will sustain the regenerating tree species and enhance the forest health and sustainability.
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