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 OJE  Vol.3 No.8 , December 2013
Selective use patterns of woody plant species by local communities in Mumbwa Game Management Area: A prerequisite for effective management of woodland resources and benefit sharing
Abstract: Selective patterns of human uses of woody plants in Mumbwa Game Management Area were investigated using quantitative survey methods. Major causes of human encroachment into the wildlife zone were assessed so that appropriate management actions could be taken to ensure continued supply of goods and services to the local community. Woody plant species were found to be diverse with 93 species recorded in the study area. Of these, the community utilized 92 (99%) in different ways. Trees were cut for various reasons, major ones being; building poles, fire wood, fibre, fruit collection, medicine, bee honey collection, house hold tools and utensils and clearing for agriculture. Clearing for agriculture was the most damaging, because it involved removal of below and above ground woody biomass of all sizes and suppression of their regeneration during cultivation in subsequent years. Of the recorded human uses, 2366 kg of woody plant material was consumed per head/yr?1as fire wood. The day to day consumption of firewood varied with season. In the cold season (May-August), a 26 kg (mean weight) bundle of firewood was consumed in three days while in the warm season it lasts five days. Certain species were particularly selected;Julbernardia paniculata,Pericopsis angolensis,Brachystegia speciformis,Brachystegia boehmii,Julbernardia globiflora,Brachystegia longifolia,and Pteleopsis anisoptera. In building and construction, differences were observed in the species and size of poles was used. The mean sizes of roofing poles were 3.5 metres long and 0.18 metres mid-length girth. Wall poles were 2.4 metres long and 0.40 metres mid-length girth. For the main house of about two rooms each, there were an average number of 48 poles in the roof (45,859.2 cm3) and 28 (284,653.6 cm3) in the wall. Clearing for agriculture was the main cause of damage to woody plants in the Game Management Area. The extension of human settlements into the wildlife zone and towards the Itezhi-tezhi road is likely to increase loss of woody vegetation, and will have a negative impact on the habitat for wildlife.  
Cite this paper: Chomba, C. , Nyirenda, V. and Silengo, M. (2013) Selective use patterns of woody plant species by local communities in Mumbwa Game Management Area: A prerequisite for effective management of woodland resources and benefit sharing. Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 532-550. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.38062.
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