Forest Health Monitoring in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania: A Baseline Report from Select Forest Reserves

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This status report presents the results of 43 permanent forest health study plots (3871 trees, saplings, and seedlings) established in 2000 and 2001 in parts of three areas of the Eastern Arc Mountains - the Taita Hills in Kenya (Ngangao and Chawia), the East Usambara Mountains (Amani Nature Reserve) and the Uluguru Mountains (Morogoro Teachers College and Kimboza) in Tanzania. Three main indicators of forest health - mensuration, visual crown ratings, and tree damage - were collected to provide baseline information on the forested areas. In general, the trees measured are considered healthy. There was no attempt to evaluate the variability among plots in a location or to compare locations. The goal was to make the information available to others for continuous study of Eastern Arcs forests. The data have been provided to coordinators for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in Kenya and Tanzania and to the Tanzania Conservation and Management of the Eastern Arc Mountain Forests Programme. Remeasurement and further analysis of the existing plots will provide interesting trend information, as 35 globally-threatened tree species (1074 trees, saplings, and seedlings) were found on these initial plots.

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