Natural regeneration of selected timber species in the Republic of Congo

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© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Natural regeneration of timber species is critical to the sustainable management of tropical forests. To understand what determines regeneration success of timber species in the Congo Basin, we evaluated whether seedling recruitment rates differed between forest logged 30 years previously and unlogged forest and determined the environmental factors that influence seedling density, growth and survival. We monitored the fate of 2186 seedlings of seven timber species within 462, 25-m<sup>2</sup> plots located along 21 transects. We characterized seedling plots by light availability, soil nutrient availability and pH, and abundance of mammalian herbivores and then used linear and generalized linear mixed models to evaluate the variables that influenced seedling density, growth and survival. Light availability and canopy openness were 18% and 81% higher in logged than unlogged forest, and concentration of soil nutrients varied between sites. Seedling density was 32% higher in unlogged than logged forest. Taking all species together, seedling survival was positively correlated with calcium and negatively with magnesium and available phosphorus. Rates of seedling growth increased with available light. Taken separately, seedlings of the selected timber species responded differently to abiotic and biotic factors, demonstrating species-specific regeneration requirements.






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Medjibe, VP, JR Poulsen, CJ Clark and OA Mbani (2014). Natural regeneration of selected timber species in the Republic of Congo. African Journal of Ecology, 52(4). pp. 552–563. 10.1111/aje.12167 Retrieved from

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