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Newtonia buchananii Abundance and Distribution in Relation to Altitude and Human Disturbance: A study in Uluguru Nature Reserve, Tanzania
Newtonia buchananii in Uluguru Nature Reserve was reported to be depleting as a result of its extraction. This research was designed to find out the trend of abundance of Newtonia buchananii, its distribution in terms of diameter classes, altitudinal gradient and human activities that either directly or indirectly have impact on the mentioned species in Uluguru Nature Reserve, Morogoro, Tanzania.Four transects were laid across the gradient and 10m×50m plots were designed for data collection which were diameter at breast height (dbh) for trees taller than 1.3m. Seedlings were counted in small plots of 2m×2m. All disturbances within the plots were recorded. It was found that, Newtonia buchananii is abundant at the altitude below 1800m.a.s.l and it is not found higher than 1900m.a.s.l, the abundance decreased with altitude on the undisturbed plots. The other observation was high mortality of N. buchananii seedlings, high occurrence of human activities near the forest edges and electricity line which has resulted to clearing of the forest. Protection of the forest edges is important for the protection of N. buchananii. Forest encroachment has to be discouraged at the lower altitudes. Entrance into UNR has to also be further supervised to avoid uncontrolled establishing of many footpaths.
Newtonia buchananii, abundance, altitude, distribution, disturbance, population structure, Uluguru.
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