Impacts of Wood Poaching on Vegetation Structure and Composition in Mukuvisi Woodland, Zimbabwe

Muboko, Never and Chigumira, Tapiwa and Mashapa, Clayton and Gandiwa, Edson and Chibememe, Gladman and Muposhi, Victor K. (2014) Impacts of Wood Poaching on Vegetation Structure and Composition in Mukuvisi Woodland, Zimbabwe. pp. 156-163.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jep.2014.52019

Abstract

Our study focused on the effects of wood poaching on the vegetation structure and composition in Mukuvisi Woodland, Zimbabwe. Mukuvisi Woodland, located within the precincts of Harare urban area, Zimbabwe, suf-fers from high illegal wood utilization pressure stemming from the need to fulfill alternative energy demands created by persistent electricity shortages and an unstable economic environment, particularly between 2000 and 2008. This results in a continuous flux of vegetation and a disturbed animal habitat driven mainly by anthropo-genic activities. Due to the heterogeneity in vegetation utilisation trends, we used the stratified systematic ran-dom sampling technique, where the site was divided into two strata, central and boundary. Twelve 30 × 20 m permanent plots were established in which species name, species diversity, height, basal area, plant status, fire evidence, number of stems and saplings were recorded and assessed in April and May 2012. A total of 968 woody plants were assessed representing 47 woody plant species. All woody vegetation variables recorded and assessed showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the two strata, i.e., central and boundary, in Mukuvisi Woodland, except sapling density (P = 0.022). Principal Component Analysis indicated evidence of fire impacts on vegetation structure. The study concludes that illegal wood harvesting in Mukuvisi Woodland has not yet reached alarming proportions and can be contained. The study recommends collaborative arrangements with key stakeholders, promotion of the use of alternative energy sources and increased environmental education and awareness campaigns. KEYWORDS Alternative Energy; Composition; Miombo Woodlands; Mukuvisi Woodland; Structure; Wood Poaching

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > Protection and Conservation
Divisions: Universities > Private Universities
Depositing User: Research Database Administrator
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2014 12:54
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2014 12:54
URI: http://researchdatabase.ac.zw/id/eprint/461

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