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Temporal dynamics of liana communities in moist semi-deciduous forest stands with different management histories in Ghana

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Addo-Fordjour, P; Agyei, LA; Ofosu-Bamfo, B; Issifu, IN; Osei, GO; Appiah-Kubi, R; Bremang, EK; Kroduah, PO

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2021

FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

489

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Although lianas play an important role in the functioning of forest ecosystems, they tend to have negative influence on the forest when they become highly abundant. Consequently, long-term monitoring of liana dynamics is necessary for effective forest management and biodiversity conservation. Nonetheless, only a few long-term monitoring studies have been conducted, resulting in non-consensus patterns. We determined the patterns of liana community dynamics in tropical moist semi-deciduous forest stands with different management histories (SS: selection system, TSS: tropical shelterwood system, PES: post-exploitation system). Liana dynamics (lianas with dbh ? 1 cm) was quantified in three 1-ha plots randomly established in each of the forest management regimes in 2008, and then repeated in 2019. Our findings showed that liana diversity decreased from 2008 to 2019 in the SS, while that in the TSS and PES increased within the same period. Species composition and the abundance of some species shifted significantly after 11 years of liana dynamics. Total liana abundance in the forest management regimes increased significantly from 2008 to 2019, with the abundance increase in the range of 61 ? 108 %. Species-specific recruitment and mortality rates varied considerably in each of the forest management regimes. The SS regime stand recorded the highest annual recruitment rate (9.38% year- 1 ha-1), whereas that of the PES regime stand was the lowest (7.63% year- 1 ha-1). The annual mortality rate of the forest management regimes was highest in the SS (4.89% year- 1 ha-1) and lowest within the PES (2.87% year- 1 ha-1). The observed changes in liana communities may be partly related to declining amount of rainfall and increased canopy gaps during the 11-year period. Our findings contradict a decreasing liana trend of previous studies, showing that liana dynamics is more local rather than continental. Our study has implications for forest management and biodiversity conservation.

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