International Journal of Forestry Research has recently been accepted into GEOBASE.Go to Table of Contents
International Journal of Forestry Research publishes research about the management and conservation of trees or forests, including tree biodiversity, sustainability, habitat protection and the social and economic aspects of forestry.
International Journal of Forestry Research maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
Latest ArticlesMore articles
Analysis of Charcoal Producers Perceptions of Its Production, Forest Degradation, and Governance in Wolaita, Southern Ethiopia’s Dry Afromontane Forests
The purpose of this study was to assess charcoal producers’ perceptions of forest degradation and investigate governance in the dry Afromontane forests of Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia. It also examines the socioeconomic contribution of charcoal production to livelihood improvement and the effect of charcoal production on forest degradation and biodiversity loss. Three Kebeles (smallest administrative subunits): Galda, Sere Esho, and Mancha Gugara were purposely selected based on their potential for charcoal production. Semistructured questionnaires were used for household surveys, while checklists were provided for the key informants and focus group discussions. From the total 4,739 charcoal producer households in the selected Kebeles, 98 households were randomly selected and interviewed considering time and budget limitations. Besides, 6 key informant interviews with elders, forestry experts, and farmers and 3 focus group discussions were conducted. A simple descriptive statistical tool was used to analyze descriptive statistical data and chi-square at was used to describe the association of forest degradation with socioeconomic characteristics. The findings reveal that charcoal production is dominated by males (68.4%) compared to females, who were within the age range of 20‒43 years. About 59.18% did not attend any formal education and 18.37% attended elementary education. Charcoal production (32.7%) is second, following agricultural expansion (39.8%) in its negative contribution to forest degradation. The majority (76%) of charcoal producers participated in charcoal production at all times throughout the year. The chi-square result shows a significant relationship between monthly incomes, educational status, family size, and gender with charcoal production and forest degradation at (). The indigenous trees, Acacia tortilis (34%), Combretum mole (22%), and Terminalia schimperiana (16%), were the most preferred tree species used for charcoal production. Overall, charcoal production has resulted in forest degradation. Charcoal producers have used traditional earth mound kiln technology. Providing alternative energy sources, training, starting rehabilitation programs, and implementing policies and legal frameworks are needed for the sustainable utilization of the resources and to improve the livelihood of the communities.
Aboveground Biomass Models for Indigenous Tree Species in the Dry Afromontane Forest, Central Ethiopia
The application of biomass models for quantifying forests’ above-ground biomass is essential for sustainable forest management. However, lack of knowledge in modelig biomass of individual tree growth hinders the sustainable management of Dry Afromontane forests. In this study, models to estimate above-ground biomass were developed for Rhus ruspolii, Ekebergia capensis, and Nuxia congesta. To develop the models, a total of 45 trees from different diameter classes were selected, felled, and divided into different biomass compartments. For the model’s development, diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (TH), diameter at stump height (DSH), and wood density (WD) were used as independent variables. Models’ performances were evaluated using RSE, adjusted coefficient of determination, and AIC. Also, model validations were done by using rRMSE, mean absolute deviation, bias, and coefficient of variation. Models 5 (Adj-R2 = 0.92), 6 (Adj-R2 = 0.97), and 8 (Adj-R22 = 0.82) were the best fitted models for Nuxia congesta, Ekebergia capensis, and Rhus ruspolii, respectively. The average wood densities of Ekebergia capensis, Nuxia congesta, and Rhus ruspolii were 0.59, 0.50, and 0.69, respectively. The variation between observed biomass and estimated biomass using new models was statistically not significant (). Thus, the biomass models developed here can be important tools to accurately estimate above-ground biomass in the Menagesha Suba forest and can be integrated into decision support tools.
Evaluation of Priority Fodder Trees for Leaf Yield and Nutritional Value at Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Tree fodder is an important supplement to livestock feed particularly where the shortage of palatable herbaceous biomass affects the animal production in dry seasons. In Arba Minch and nearby semiarid parts of southern Ethiopia, lopping and feeding tree fodder is becoming a common practice to increase livestock productivity. However, knowledge of the fodder species’ biomass productive potential and their nutritional content along with their digestibility is limited. Hence, this study investigated leaf yield, nutritional value, and chemical composition including mineral profile and in vitro dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) degradability of these three browse tree species viz., Dendrocalamus giganteus, Balanites aegyptiaca, and Terminalia brownii. These are commonly used trees for lopping branches and harvesting fodder in Arba Minch, southern Ethiopia. The leaf yield of the trees was assessed based on the uniformity in tree parameters such as height, diameter at breast height, and crown spread. Samples of tree leaves were analysed for chemical composition using standard procedures. The results indicated that fodder yield lopped from all branches was 25.92 kg·DM/five culms for D. giganteus, 19.60 kg·DM/tree for B. aegyptiaca, and 22.53 kg·DM/tree for T. brownii. The crude protein (CP) content was 69.3 g/kg·DM, 113.2 g/kg·DM, 102.6 g/kg·DM, and 122.7 g/kg·DM for the forage hay, D. giganteus, B. aegyptiaca, and T. brownii, respectively. Among the studied browse species, Terminalia brownii leaf fodder constitutes greater potential to supply CP, IVDMD (48.43%), and IVOMD (56.39%) for ruminants. Mineral contents of the trees fodder were also in the suitable optimal range to support ruminant livestock performance except for zinc which was below the recommended level.
Floristic Composition and Structural Analysis of Woody Plant Species in Jib Godo Natural Forest, Farta District, South Gonder Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia
Afromontane forests are crucial for maintaining plant diversity and reducing climate change. Even though the Jib Godo Natural Forest is subject to anthropogenic impacts such as cutting and farming, it lacks long-term conservation practices. The researchers conducted fieldwork in Jib Godo Natural Forest to investigate the floristic composition and structural analyses of woody plant species in Ethiopia. The vegetation and environmental data were collected from 50 (20 m × 20 m) sample plots established for woody species at every 100 m along seven transect lines and 5 m × 5 m in five subplots for saplings and seedlings using a systematic sampling procedure. In each sample plot, soil samples were obtained from 0–20 cm and mixed to generate a composite sample. A vegetative structural analysis of DBH, height, and stem IVI was computed. There were 65 species of woody plant identified, belonging to 58 genera and 41 families, with 34 species (52.30 percent) being trees, 23 species (35.38 percent) being shrubs, and 8 species (12.30 percent) being lianas. Outside of the sample plot, four other species were identified. Only eleven environmental characteristics were significant at < 0.05, according to the results of canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). In conclusion, the distribution of plant communities and the composition of the species depend on altitude and topographic aspects. The forest’s population structure and regeneration condition suggested that the area had experienced forest degradation and severe anthropogenic disturbances; therefore, the conservation of species and sustainable use of forest genetic resources are advocated as a result of this study’s findings.
Impacts of Livestock Grazing on Wild Ungulate Habitat in the Khata Corridor, Bardiya, Nepal
The wildlife population is an important part of the forest ecosystem and plays a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem health and integrity. In many grassland ecosystems, wild herbivores face substantial competition for space and resource use from livestock over grazing resources. Livestock and ungulates have shared a large portion of the Terai forest resources for decades, but little information has been explored about the influence of livestock on the grassland ecosystems of the protected areas of the Terai region of Nepal. We assessed the impact of livestock grazing on wild ungulate habitat in the Khata Corridor, Bardiya, Nepal. We used direct field observation, key informant interview (n = 10), focus group discussion (n = 5), and a questionnaire survey with local households to study the seasonal occurrence of wild ungulates in multiple habitats, livestock rearing practices, stocking density, and resource use by domestic livestock in and around the forest land of villages located in the Khata Corridor, Bardiya, Nepal. We followed livestock herds from the early morning to their return for consecutive days in each sample village to estimate the grazing circuits. We individually recorded a total number of grazing cattle in five different habitats while following the cattle grazing path by direct and indirect observation. Morisita’s index was used to evaluate the habitat overlap between domestic livestock and wild ungulates. The domestic cattle had a higher habitat overlap and effective stocking density in winter than wild ungulates in summer in the corridor forest. Lower availability of forage around the village led to the concerted effort of grazing in the forest, increasing the higher effective stocking density in winter, leading to the competition with wild ungulates. However, the carrying capacity is highly unevenly observed across the region, and overgrazing is found in many areas of the forest corridor. We recommend the development of comprehensive wildlife livestock grazing strategies for planning sustainable livestock farming and for important wildlife areas to maintain long-term landscape connectivity to protect migrating endangered wild species.
Plant Species Composition and Conservation Values at Dilla University Botanical and Ecotourism Garden, Dilla, Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a diverse topography with higher plant species composition and estimated to the higher proportion of endemic plant species. Currently, several factors drive natural forest destruction in the country, extensive agricultural land expansion triggered by increasing human population is probably the dominant force. The Dilla University Botanical and Ecotourism Garden was established targeting to rescue threatened flora from extinction, contribute towards conservation, and research on biodiversity and sustainable education as well as ecotourism development. The study was aimed to generate basic scientific information by identifying and documenting the formerly available plant species in to the garden and provide information for farther plant collection planning and research. Systematic sampling method was used to collect the vegetation data from 52 plots of 20 m × 20 m (400 m2) quadrats. To collect data for herbaceous plants, five 1 m × 1 m subplots were laid in each of the main plot, where four were at the corners and one at the centre. Vegetation classification was performed using R-programme version 3.6.1 software packages. Shannon–Wiener Diversity Index was used to calculate species diversity, richness, and evenness. A total of 408 plant species, including trees (30%), shrubs (25%), herb (30%), grass (6%), and 9% of other species, were collected. The identified species belong to 287 genera and 105 families. Out of this, 27 species of plants are endemic to Ethiopia and 72 plant species were screened as a medicinal plant used for the treatment of human diseases. Based on IUCN Red Data List, among the endemic plant species nineteen species were least concern; two were near threatened; two were endangered while four were vulnerable. Three vegetation community types were identified from the hierarchical clustering analysis. The result designates that Dilla University Botanical and Ecotourism Garden has high plant species composition and diversity with a good distribution. The higher composition of this ecologically, economically, and socially important plant species at its early stage makes the garden a unique garden in the country and realize to be a centre for research, education, and tourist destination.