Bark re-growth and wood decay in response to bark stripping for medicinal use

Ngubeni, Ntombizodwa (2015-04)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Plants have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments in the history of all civilizations. However, a growing interest in medicinal plants requires appropriate management to prevent over-exploitation of target species. The challenge for scientists is to find equilibrium between resource exploitation and the maintenance of viable populations of target species. Sustainability of use requires an understanding of the ecological, economic and socio-cultural aspects of resource use and the interaction between these factors. This research focuses on the ecological and socio-cultural aspects required to underwrite species-specific sustainable harvesting systems for bark used for traditional medicine. The social survey conducted in the form of structured interviews with traditional healers reported 69 plant species used for medicinal purposes in the southern Cape. The results suggested that resource users are aware of the increase in demand for medicinal plants in general, attributing this to an increasing recognition of traditional medicines and increasing prevalence of diseases. Ocotea bullata (Endangered), Curtisia dentata (Nearly Threatened) and Rapanea melanophloeos (Declining), as well as Siphonochilis aethiopicus (Critically Endangered), Elaeodendron transvaalense (Near Threatened) and Cassipourea flananganii (Endangered) that do not occur in the area naturally, were identified as species in high demand for their medicinal bark properties. Given the high demand and concerns about over-exploitation, a need for further ecological research to develop sustainable harvest systems was identified. Two species, O. bullata and C. dentata, were selected from an earlier study on the response of several species to bark stripping, that was confined to a study period of three years after treatment. With this current study tree response to bark stripping and harvesting impact were assessed over a period of ten years to reveal the intra and inter-specific difference of wound occlusion (wound closure through bark-regrowth) and the anatomical decay consequences of bark stripping. This is, to the knowledge of the author, the first study to evaluate the structural-tree pathogen interaction following bark stripping on medicinal tree species in Africa. The results revealed species-specific differences in terms of both wound closure and efficiency in decay containment. O. bullata had a significantly better wound occlusion rate and a lower extent of decay. The relationship between tree diameter growth and the rate of wound occlusion allowed for the formulation of a preliminary model that will assist forest managers in developing bark harvest systems. Smaller trees showed poor bark regrowth and a significantly higher mortality, which suggest that a minimum tree size for harvesting needs to be stipulated in the harvest prescriptions. In contrast, C. dentata showed a much higher volume of decay within the stem, poor bark regrowth and a significantly higher mortality of bark-stripped trees. In conclusion, the harvesting of bark for C. dentata through bark stripping is not viable, and alternatives should be explored. O. bullata has a much greater potential for strip harvesting, both in terms of bark regrowth and the containment of wood decay following wounding.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Beskawings gebruik al vir eeue plante vir die behandeling van ‘n verskeidenheid van kwale. Die toenemende belangstelling in medisinale plante vereis egter oordeelkundige bestuur om die oorbenutting van teikenspesies te voorkom. Die uitdaging vir wetenskaplikes is om 'n balans tussen die benutting van hulpbronne en die handhawing van lewensvatbare populasies van teikenspesies te bewerkstellig. Standhoudende benutting vereis insig in die ekologiese, ekonomiese en sosio-kulturele aspekte van hulpbronbenutting, en die interaksie tussen hierdie faktore. Hierdie navorsing fokus op die ekologiese en sosio-kulturele aspekte wat nodig is om spesie-spesifieke, standhoudende oesstelsels vir bas wat vir tradisionele medisyne gebruik word, te onderskryf. Die sosiale opname, in die vorm van gestruktureerde onderhoude met tradisionele genesers, dui op 'n totaal van 69 plantspesies wat vir medisinale doeleindes in die Tuinroete gebruik word. Gebruikers is oor die algemeen bewus van die toenemende vraag na medisinale plante, en skryf dit toe aan groter erkenning van tradisionele medisyne en ‘n toename in siektes. Ocotea bullata (Bedreig), Curtisia dentata (Byna bedreig) en Rapanea melanophloeos (Afnemend), asook drie spesies wat nie natuurlik in die gebied voorkom nie, Siphonochilis aethiopicus (Kritiek bedreig), Elaeodendron transvaalense (Byna bedreig) en Cassipourea flananganii (Bedreig), is geïdentifiseer as spesies in groot aanvraag weens hul medisinale eienskappe. Die hoë aanvraag en kommer oor oorbenutting het gelei tot die behoefte vir verdere ekologiese navorsing vir die onwikkeling van oesstelsels vir die spesies. Twee spesies, O. bullata en C. dentata, is geselekteer van ‘n vroeëre studie oor die reaksie van verskeie spesies op basstroping wat beperk was tot ‘n studieperiode van drie jaar na behandeling. Die huidige studie was daarop gemik om die reaksie en impak oor ‘n periode van 10 jaar na behandeling te bepaal, en die intra- en inter-verskille van wond sluiting (wond sluiting deur die hergroei van die bas) en anatomiese verrotting na basstroping te beskryf. Dit is, tot die kennis van die outeur, die eerste studie om die struktuur-boompatogeen interaksie na basstroping op medisinale boomsoorte in Afrika te beskryf. Die resultate dui op spesie-spesifieke verskille in beide wond en die beperking van houtverrotting. O. bullata het ‘n betekenisvolle hoër tempo van wondsluiting en effektiwiteit in die beperking van houtverrotting. Die korrelasie tussen boomdeursnee-aanwas en die tempo van wondsluiting het die ontwikkeling van ‘n voorlopige model om bosbestuurders te help met die ontwikkeling van oesvoorskrifte, moontlik gemaak. Kleiner bome toon swak bas-hergroei en betekenisvolle hoër mortaliteit, wat aandui dat ‘n minimum grootte vir oesbome neergelê behoort te word in oesvoorskrifte. In teenstelling toon C. dentata ‘n baie groter mate van houtverrotting, het swak bas-hergroei, en ‘n betekenisvolle hoër mortaliteit van gestroopte bome. Ter afsluiting, die oes van C. dentata deur basstroping is nie lewensvatbaar nie en alternatiewe behoort ondersoek te word. O. bullata het ‘n groter potensiaal vir standhoudende basstroping, beide in terme van bas-hergroei en die beperking van houtverrotting na oes.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97040
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