Causes and consequences of mother tree population decline in Fazara Natural Forest Reserve, Sudan

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Research Paper 16/07/2023
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Causes and consequences of mother tree population decline in Fazara Natural Forest Reserve, Sudan

Elmugheira MI. Mohammed, Difo V. Harouna, Elmamoun H. Osman, Elmalih MI. Mohammed, Sohad AA. Fadlelmola
J. Bio. Env. Sci.23( 1), 189-209, July 2023.
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Although recent progress has been made in exploring and understanding tree population ecology and factors that disturb its development and dynamics, other pivotal research gaps remain untouched. Causes and consequences of mother tree decline, a seed-producing source and biodiversity niche, are at the core of these gaps. We bridged this gap by analyzing the status of mother trees, dendrometric parameters, stand parameters, and factors driving changes in species composition at Fazara natural forest reserve, across 74 samples of 1000 m2, systematically distributed in the high and lowland sites of the forest. To run the analysis, we respectively used ANOVA, paired-sampled t-test, post hoc test, and cross-tabulation in JAMOVI, Minitab, and SPSS. Findings showed that the abundance of mother trees, saplings, and seedlings were twice and three times higher in highland sites than lowland ones, respectively (F1,72 = 141.2 and P = 0.03; F1,72 = 128.3 and P = 0.01; F1,72 = 116.5 and P < 0.001, respectively). While juvenile trees displayed no significant differences between the sites (F1,72 = 162.4 and P = 0.06). Illegal harvesting was the principal contributor to mother tree decline, where stumps and debranched trees density at lowland sites were four and three times that of highland sites, respectively. However, deterioration of species richness, regeneration, and abundance were the common consequences of mother trees decline in the reserve. Interventions through restriction of trespassing, awareness-raising, and patrolling guards are urgently needed to protect both mother and juvenile trees.


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