Impacts of forest management on liana diversity and community structure in a tropical forest in Ghana: implications for conservation
Addo-Fordjour P; Rahmad ZB; Shahrul AMS; Ashyraf M
Journal of Forestry Research
We studied the impacts of liana cutting as a forest management tool on liana diversity (species richness Shannon diversity index) and community structure (diameter distribution basal area species dominance) in the Asenanyo Forest Reserve Ghana. Two types of silviculturally treated forests were studied: Logging treated (LT) and Tropical Shelterwood System (TSS) treated forests. An untreated primary forest was included as a control resulting in three forest management systems. Lianas with diameter =2 cm were identified in ten 40 × 40 m2 plots within each management system. Liana cutting significantly reduced liana species richness Shannon diversity index and basal area in the LT forest after two decades. However liana species richness and basal area were comparable in the TSS treated and untreated forests indicating significant recovery in the former after over six decades. Sørensen similarity index of liana species composition between the untreated forest and each of the treated forests was moderate. Our findings suggest that liana cutting most likely influenced the dominance of some liana species. In view of the adverse impact of blanket liana cutting on liana diversity selective liana cutting is recommended as a means of controlling liana numbers while maintaining liana diversity.