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Forests 2015, 6(2), 380-394; doi:10.3390/f6020380

Differential Performance between Two Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa

1
Gestion des Ressources Forestières, Département BIOSE, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Université de Liège, Gembloux B-5030, Belgium
2
Nature+ asbl, Rue Bourgmestre Gilisquet 57, Walhain-St-Paul B-1457, Belgium
3
Royal Museum for Central Africa, Service of Wood Biology, Tervuren B-3080, Belgium
4
Pallisco SARL, Avenue des Cocotiers 478, Douala BP 394, Cameroon
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Plinio Sist
Received: 29 October 2014 / Revised: 5 January 2015 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
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Abstract

To develop silvicultural guidelines for high-value timber species of Central African moist forests, we assessed the performance of the pioneer Milicia excelsa (iroko, Moraceae), and of the non-pioneer light demander Pericopsis elata (assamela, Fabaceae) in logging gaps and in plantations in highly degraded areas in south-eastern Cameroon. The survival and size of each seedling was regularly monitored in the silvicultural experiments. Differences in performance and allometry were tested between species in logging gaps and in plantations. The two species performance in logging gaps was significantly different from plantations and concurred with the expectations of the performance trade-off hypothesis but not with the expectations of species light requirements. The pioneer M. excelsa survived significantly better in logging gaps while the non-pioneer P. elata grew significantly faster in plantations. The high mortality and slow growth of M. excelsa in plantations is surprising for a pioneer species but could be explained by herbivory (attacks from a gall-making psyllid). Identifying high-value native timber species (i) with good performance in plantations such as P. elata is of importance to restore degraded areas; and (ii) with good performance in logging gaps such as M. excelsa is of importance to maintain timber resources and biodiversity in production forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: light requirement/shade tolerance; Milicia excelsa; Pericopsis elata; forest restoration; performance trade-off; tropical silviculture light requirement/shade tolerance; Milicia excelsa; Pericopsis elata; forest restoration; performance trade-off; tropical silviculture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fayolle, A.; Ouédraogo, D.-Y.; Ligot, G.; Daïnou, K.; Bourland, N.; Tekam, P.; Doucet, J.-L. Differential Performance between Two Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa. Forests 2015, 6, 380-394.

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