2020, VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2Pages: 336-356
An assessment of the current status and regeneration potential of the traditional conserved forests (Ngitili) in Kishapu district, Tanzania
Gisandu K. Malunguja, Chrispinus K. D. Rubanza and Ashalata Devi*
*Department of Environmental Science, School of Sciences, Tezpur University, Assam, India
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The current study was carried out in the community forests conserved under the indigenous knowledge known as “Ngitili” in Kishapu district of Tanzania. The aim was to assess the current status and determines its regeneration potential in terms of plant species diversity, herbaceous productivity and tree stocking. A field survey was conducted for recording the current status while the phytosociological was carried to recognize vegetation composition and diversity. Regeneration potential was determined based on the population size of seedlings, saplings and adults. Disturbance index was used to calculate the level of disturbances while herbaceous productivity and tree stocking were estimated based on allometric models. Descriptive statistics for quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 20. The study recorded a total of 10 Ngitili in Kishapu district, out of which, 9 still existing but highly threatened and disturbed, only 1 Ngitili was recorded to be dead (not existing). A total of 66 plant species were recorded of which 20 were grasses, 18 were forbs, and 28 species (17 genera and 13 families) were trees and shrubs. The dominant grass species were Aristida funiculata (28.9%) and Cynodon dactylon, while Monechma debile (4.6%) was the dominant forb. Similarly, Acacia drepanolobium (45.4) and Balanites aegyptiaca (42.9) trees dominated the area. The majority of tree species exhibited a “not regenerating” condition (51.8%) only a few (2.11%) showed a “good regeneration” condition while “newly regeneration” condition recorded 0.00%, with a diversity ranging from 1.86–2.44. Herbaceous and tree stocking potential was 1.23±0.05 t DM ha-1 and 5.66±0.21 t Cha-1 respectively, with a standing stem density (stems ha-1) of 512.07±193.86. The study observed great degradation of the Ngitili characterized by low diversity and poor regeneration conditions. This signified that these community forests are currently threatened and its sustainability is highly at risk unless strong initiatives take place.