Journal of Basic and Applied Research International
 

Journal of Basic and Applied Research International, ISSN No. : 2395-3438 (Print), 2395-3446 (Online), Vol.: 3, Issue.: 2

Original Research Article

RESTORATION AND SURVIVAL TREND OF Widdringtonia whytei FOREST AT CHAMBE BASIN, MULANJE MOUNTAIN

 

EDWARD MISSANJO1* AND JR. FRANK FRED1

1Department of Forestry, Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi.

Abstracts

Widdringtonia whytei Rendle is a tropical montane conifer tree. It is an endangered species endemic to Mulanje Mountain in Malawi. A study was conducted to (1) establish the survival trend of the planted Widdringtonia whytei (2) estimate the annual survival rate of planted Widdringtonia whytei and (3) predict the average life span of the planted Widdringtonia whytei using regression method. Restoration programme commenced in 2002. An inventory on number of trees alive was conducted in 2014. The results indicates that Widdringtonia whytei follows a population ecology of Deevy Type III trend, which features heavy mortality at an early age followed by good to excellent survivorship. The cumulative survival percentage was low (7.3%). However, the annual survival rate of those that have survived the bottleneck has been predicted to be 80.4%. The logarithmic regression analysis revealed that the model (Y=0.9598–0.222ln(X)) was highly significant (P<.001) for the planted Widdringtonia whytei and a higher (R2=.832) variation of survival was explained by the time period after planting. Basing on this model the average lifespan of planted Widdringtonia whytei can be considered as 75 years. This is inspiring considering that Widdringtonia whytei takes over 50 years to mature. It can be concluded that the restoration programme of Widdringtonia whytei is in the right channel and also that the biology and ecology of Widdringtonia whytei has responded well the need for soil amelioration. However, it is recommended that large numbers of seedlings should be produced and planted each and every year in order to restore Widdringtonia whytei at Mulanje Mountain. Further studies are needed on how to turn the population ecology Type III trend survivorship of Widdringtonia whytei to Type I trend survivorship.

Keywords :

Endangered, regression, survivorship, survival rate, average lifespan.