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Extractive forest resources of the Tana River National Primate Reserve, Kenya


Economic Botany 47(2): 171-183
Extractive forest resources of the Tana River National Primate Reserve, Kenya
Plant uses by the Pokomo and their influence on riverine forest structure and composition are examined in the Tana River National Primate Reserve, Kenya. Of a total 98 plant species identified with one or more uses, 15 are used as food, 34 for construction material, 43 for technology, 23 for remedy, 2 for commerce, and 20 for other uses. The mean basal area of cut wood is 3.21 m-2/ha, mostly from palms (1.96 m-2/ha) and understory trees (1.20 m-2/ha). Measured impacts on forest structure include the loss of large trees for canoes or beehives, lowered palm heights, and tree coppicing. Accessibility explains much of the spatial pattern of use. Extraction activities do not reduce forest area, and causal effects on productivity are complicated by the heterogeneous environment and past disturbances. In view of regional pressures on forests and cultural traditions, limited resource extraction offers incentives for local stewardship of a unique ecosystem.

Accession: 002379469

DOI: 10.1007/bf02862020

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