Fuelwood harvest, management and regeneration of two community forests in Central Nepal

Bharat Babu Shrestha

Abstract

From July to December 2003 we studied the impact of forest resource use and management practices on community structure and regeneration of locally managed Shorea robusta (sal) forest in the mid-hills of central Nepal. We carried out a household survey in two villages (Namjung village of Gorkha and Khari village of Dhading district), and studied the community structure and regeneration of important multipurpose tree species (Shorea robusta Gaertn. and Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth.) in community forests. Dependency on forests has been decreasing due to limited access to resources, decrease in cattle number and the cultivation of more fuelwood and fodder trees in non-forested land. Nonetheless, forests remain the major source of fuelwood, supplying 63% of the total. Alternative energy sources (biogas and solar cell) were not significant at the time of our study. S. robusta was the dominant tree in both forests, with high relative density (74%) in Namjung forest (NF) and 50% in Khari forest (KF); its importance value index (IVI) was 171 in NF and 152 in KF. Tree density of sal in NF was the highest (909 tree ha–1) among the reported values in references for the same species. Both forests had comparatively low species diversity (1.09 in NF and 1.30 in KF); local management appears to contribute to reduced diversity. Regeneration of sal was sustainable and fairly high, with a typical reverse-J-shaped size class diagram (in NF), a good predictor of mono-dominant sal forest. Regeneration of S. wallichii was unsustainable in both forests.

Key words: Schima wallichii, Shorea robusta, size class diagram, species diversity

Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5) 2005 p. 75-80

Keywords

Schima wallichii, Shorea robusta, size class diagram, species diversity
Full Text: PDF