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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13498

Title: Fuel Management and Experimental Wildfire Effects on Forest Structure, Tree Mortality and Soil Chemistry in Tropical Dry Forests in Ghana
Authors: Barnes, Victor R
Swaine, Mike D
Pinard, Michelle A
Kyereh, Boateng
Keywords: fuel
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Journal of Forest and Environmental Science
Abstract: The effects of application of fuel-reduction treatment in wildfire management has not been tested in dry forests of Ghana. Therefore, the short-term ecological effects of prescribed burning and hand thinning treatments followed by experimental wildfire were investigated in degraded forests and Tectona grandis forest plantations in two forest reserves of different levels of dryness in Ghana. The results showed that more trees were killed in prescribed burning (average of 41% in degraded forest and 18% in plantations) than hand thinning (7.2% in degraded forests and 8% in plantation). More tree seedlings were also killed in prescribed burning (72%) than hand thinning (47%). The mortality of trees and seedlings were greater in Worobong South forest, a less dry forest reserve than the Afram Headwaters forest, a drier forest reserve. Fuel treatment especially prescribed burning compared to the control reduced wildfire effects on forest canopy particularly in the less dry forest and tree mortality especially in the drier forest. Prescribed burning temporarily increased pH, exchangeable potassium (52%) and available phosphorus (82%) in the surface soils of the entire plots. The two fuel treatment methods did not have much influence on basal area, organic matter and total nitrogen. Nevertheless, they were able to reduce the adverse wildfire effects on soil pH, exchangeable potassium, available phosphorus, organic matter and total nitrogen concentrations. Fuel treatments therefore have potential application in dry forest management in Ghana due to their ability to retain important forest ecological traits after a wildfire incidence.
Description: This article is published in Journal of Forest and Environmental Science and also available at https://doi.org/10.7747/JFES.2017.33.3.172
URI: 10.7747/JFES.2017.33.3.172
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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