A comparative study of regeneration under live and dead canopy trees in a tropical rain forest ecosystem of Kibale National Park, Uganda


  • Both authors declare no conflicts of interest

*E-mail: jkalema@botany.mak.ac.ug


Patterns of forest regeneration and recruitment are vital aspects in forest ecosystem maintenance. In Kibale, some tree species are experiencing unusual mortality and have been monitored for several years. This study was conducted in order to investigate the regeneration of five canopy tree species that were experiencing high mortality rates among adult individuals. The five canopy tree species, some of which are important timber species, include: Pouteria altissima, Celtis africana, Lovoa swynnertonii, Mimusops bagshawei and Newtonia buchananii. The study was conducted in the mature forest tract which was never logged mechanically (K-30). The objective of the study was to establish whether these tree species influence regeneration of any of the other species including their own and the role of small gaps created by tree deaths in forest recruitment. The study species did not appear to regenerate beneath their own canopies. There was a tendency for higher survival rate away from the conspecific adult tree species. However, gaps created after the death of the mature trees were found to be sites of high forest regeneration level. They supported significant densities of the juveniles of the five study species where N. buchananii clearly demonstrates gap specialization.