Aboveground Biomass and Litterfall Dynamics in Secondary Forest Regenerating from Degraded Rubber Plantation in Nigeria
The differences in aboveground biomass, litterfall patterns and the seasonality of litterfall in three secondary forest fields aged 1, 5 and 10 years of age regenerating from degraded abandoned rubber plantation and a mature forest were studied in southern Nigeria. This is with a view to understanding the possibility of secondary forest regenerating from degradedabandoned rubber plantation in recovering to the level of primary forest and performing the environmental functions of primary forest. Aboveground biomass and litterfall increased significantly with increasing age of secondary forest. Maximum litterfall occurred during the dry season in all the secondary forest categories and the mature forest. These suggest that if secondary forest regenerating from degraded abandoned rubber plantation is left long enough to grow fallow its aboveground biomass is capable of regenerating to the level obtainable in the mature forest. Consequently, the maintenance of this type of secondary forest in the tropical area would be a significant contribution to soil and watershed protection, mitigating climatic changes effects in the region, and minimizing biodiversity losses.
Keywords: Aboveground biomass; Litterfall; Degraded; Seasonality; Rubber plantation.
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