Recovery of seed removal rates in the former saw mill site in Budongo CFR western Uganda
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Seed dispersal and predation by animals often drive plant regeneration. In most studies, seed removers have a much greater role in dispersing early successional specie. This study generated information on the current status of seed removal in the former site of Budongo sawmill which can be used for making management decisions i.e., whether to rely on natural regeneration as a strategy to restore degraded sites or whether to apply other management strategies like assisting natural regeneration. It could also help the management such as the National Forestry Authority (NFA), which is mandated to managed central forest reserves in Uganda, among others to predict the tree regeneration in the area because where the seeds are moved more, regeneration is likely to be faster than where few seeds are removed. This study investigated seed removal in the former sawmill site of Budongo tropical rainforest. The study used eight seed stations with two study sites (Figure 1) and each seed station included three treatments: open (seeds placed on the forest floor which was accessed by all seed removal agents), partially closed (a box made of wire mesh 10 × 20 cm with an opening- to exclude primates and birds but was accessed by small mammals and invertebrates), and closed (a wire-mesh box of width 10 cm, length 20 cm, and height 10 cm, mesh size = 0.5 cm which prevented the entrance of seed removal agents except invertebrates). The results indicated a greater number of seeds removed in a forest site than the successional site. More small seeded species with small mass were removed than large mass seeds. Small mammals removed more seeds than insects and large mammals and there was a negative correlation between seed removal and the investigated habitat characteristics of the former sawmill site.