Resource Details

Expediting reforestation in tropical forests grasslands: distance and isolation from seed sources in plantations

Literature: Journal Articles

Zanne, A.E. & Chapman, C.A. 2001, "Expediting reforestation in tropical forests grasslands: distance and isolation from seed sources in plantations", Ecological Applications, vol. 11, nos. 6, pp. 1610-1621.

Contact Info

Collins A. Chapman,


  • University of Florida, Department of Zoology, Gainesville, Florida


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Species Info

  • Albizia grandibracteata
  • Dichrostachyscinera
  • Erythrina abyssinica
  • Ficus asperifolia
  • Marantochloa Ieucanntha
  • Marantace
  • Millettia dura
  • Psychotria sp.
  • Cupressus lusitanica (Exotic)
  • Eucalyptus spp. (Exotic)
  • Pinus patula (Exotic)
  • Pinus caribaea (Exotic)


  • This study investigates the potential use of tree plantations to facilitate regeneration of indigenous trees in successionally arrested grassland, focusing on how characteristics of the plantations and native species could determine the type of regeneration occurring in Kibale National Park, Uganda. 5 plantations were assessed in this study, 4 were surrounded by natural forest and 1 was an isolated plantation.
  • By looking at three components that may affect regeneration, which are locations within plantations, large scale distance and habitat between seed sources and plantations and dispersal mode of trees species may affect tree regeneration.
  • Tree species richness and stem density were assessed in the grassland. Within the plantations, seedling, sapling, and tree regeneration were assessed with respect to distance from plantation edge and various site characteristics.
  • The results showed that plantations differed in species composition and stem density from forest; all plantations had higher tree species richness and stem density than anthropogenic grassland. Suggesting that establishment of these plantations facilitated tree species regeneration rapidly increasing richness and stem density than anthropogenic grassland. 
  • The relationship between abundance and distance differed among common species. Small seeded animal dispersed species tended to show strong distance effect with decreasing density as distance increased (C. Africana and D. abyssinica), but C. durandii showed a weak decrease in density with increasing distance. C. odorata and M. dura with reproductive adults in plantations showed little or no distance effect. It is unclear why M. dura and A. grandibracteata, both legumes, differed in densities with increasing distance. In addition, the results showed that the isolated plantation had lower species richness and stem density than plantations located adjacent to the natural forests.
  • Also, whilst trees grew at low densities in dense patches of understory plants, these understory plants may still attract potential seed dispersers increasing seed deposition in plantations.
  • According to the authors, the results suggest that forest reestablishment will occur faster in regions that have many species with densities that are little affected by distance from plantation edge than in regions that have many species with densities that decrease rapidly with increasing distance from plantation edge.

Geographical Region

  • East Africa
  • Country

  • Uganda
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