Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1901–1915 | Cite as

The uses, local perceptions and ecological status of 16 woody species of Gadumire Sub-county, Uganda

Original Paper

Abstract

Populations of naturally growing woody species valued for their contribution to human livelihoods are threatened with extinction. Most at risk are those existing in human inhabited areas outside protected areas that are subjected to high population pressure and to a variety of land use demands. The sustainable utilization of these plants requires as a first step knowledge, including, their ecology and an understanding of the peoples attitudes to conservation. This study was conducted to generate data that would contribute to the management for conservation and sustainable use of woody resources. The study objectives were to document local knowledge covering the uses, status, threats, habitats and management solutions of woody species; determine the abundances, distribution and population structure of 16 woody species, and assess the conservation status of the selected woody species. The study was carried out in Gadumire Sub-county, Uganda using both an ethnobotanical approach and quantitative ecological methods. The species are multipurpose and are exploited to satisfy different subsistence needs. They had population densities ranging between 3.6 and 2630 individuals ha−1, and distributions ranging between 0.3 and 39.5%. The species Acacia hockii, Albizia zygia, Acacia seyal, Markhamia lutea and Albizia coriaria had a good conservation status. The remainder of the species appear threatened either because they had low densities, frequencies or less steep size class distribution (SCD) slopes. Securidaca longipedunculata Fres. was not encountered at all in the study plots. Community perceptions collaborated the measured population dynamics. The major threats believed to be impacting the species by the community are the growing human population, expanding crop agriculture, poor harvesting methods and over-exploitation of the species.

Keywords

Ethnobotany Harvesting patterns Population structure Savanna woodland 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Permission to carry out this research was granted by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (Research No. EC 606). Funding for the study was provided by NORAD. The community of Gadumire Sub-county is acknowledged for collaborating on this study. The following people A-M. Lykke, J.M. Kasenene, P. Mucunguzi, J. Kalema, H. Tushabe and two anonymous referees are thanked for their comments on different aspects of the research. P. Sebulime assisted with field work.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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