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Degradation of tropical mountain forest in the upper watershed of the river Konto (East Jawa, Indonesia): a qualitative and quantitative approach

Hartog, P. (1990) Degradation of tropical mountain forest in the upper watershed of the river Konto (East Jawa, Indonesia): a qualitative and quantitative approach. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Tropical mountain forest on Jawa is degrading fast because of the increasing demand for timber, fuelwood and fodder by the growing human population. In the upper watershed of the river Konto (total 233 km2), 113 km2 is covered by natural forest (65 km2) or scrubland (39 km2). Monitoring of aerial photograph interpretations of 1979 and 1984 showed almost no reduction of total 'natural vegetation', but big changes in structural density in the forest and transition of forest to scrub. Structure degradation seemed to be concentrated in the zone between 1400 and 1700 m on Mt. Kawi and Andjasmoro, while recuperation of the forest structure occured below 1400 m, especially on Mt. Dorowati. In a qualitative analysis of the vegetation composition, distinction has been made between two main forest types: Casuarina junghuhniana forest above 2000 m altitude on Mt. Kawi and Butak (fire climax vegetation), and mixed oak forest (Lithocarpus ssp.) below 2000 m. The mixed oak forests have been subdivided according to composition differences related to altitudinal zonation and basal structural differences. The distribution of height of saplings and trees has been analyzed per species group per vegetation type to test the probability of transitions between types. By combining results of the monitoring of aerial photograph interpretations and the vegetation analysis, processes of degradation and regeneration have been described roughly for the different parts of the area. The most important cause of degradation appeared to be the selective cutting of economical valuable species for timber, which gradually induces a change in composition to a secondary forest without primary forest species. The forests on lower altitude are not interesting for timber any more, here some recuperation of structure has been found. In this zone collection of fuelwood and fodder seemed to be important, because cutting of saplings has disturbed the age distribution of the trees. In some parts of this forest, natural gaps will be taken too easily by Eupatorium inulifolium because a new canopy cannot be formed quickly enough, regeneration of forest from dense Eupatorium scrub is very difficult. The present processes probably result in the vanishing of primary species within a few years period, while steadily more scrubland develops from secondary forest. Big management changes will be necessary to save the forest from further degradation. However, this is only possible when less people are dependent on the natural forest products to have a living.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:47
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:47

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