The impacts of paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera (L) Vent on tree species regeneration and diversity in Mabira forest, central Uganda
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This study focused on impacts of B. papyrifera on regeneration, diversity and richness in the moderately and heavily invaded compartments that is to say Sango and Bugule respectively in Mabira Central Forest Reserve. Tree species samples that were identified during this study were collected and taken to the Makerere University Herbarium for further identification and validation of the tree species that were identified by a local expert. The Relative Density, Shannon- Weiner’s and Margalef species diversity indices for the tree species were derived. Antarias toxicaria and Celtis mildraedii were the most highly regenerating species in the highly and moderately invaded compartments respectively. Most of the species surviving under invasion of B. papyrifera belonged to family Moraceae with the highly invaded compartment having the highest number of tree species regeneration. Species diversity did not vary between the highly invaded and moderately invaded compartments. Edges of the respective compartment for which the study was carried out had the lowest species richness, there is need to control the species to save the uninvaded portions of the Mabira Central Forest Reserve from imminent danger of B. papyrifera invasion, also restoration efforts in invaded portions of the reserve should consider the use of native species such as Antarias toxicaria, Markhamia lutea, Bilghia unijugata, Celtis Mildbraedii, and Trichilia prieureana as they appear to be resilient to the B. papyrifera invasion.