07/02/2020 - 25/02/2020, Yangambi, DRC
The strategic objectives of the PilotMAB project include goals such as developing activities of research, training and education in the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Reserves of the Democratic Republic of the Congo within the rainforest biome. At the same time, the function of these reserves as models for the reconciliation of nature conservation, economy and welfare is promoted and strengthened.
A forest inventory campaign was recently carried out in the Tshopo province. More specifically, the first phase of the mission took place in the in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserves of Yangambi. The campaign focused primarily on providing data to study carbon budgets and growth dynamics of a range of rainforest types, and training staff members (technicians, scientists). The analysis were conducted on permanent plots which were then measured for the fourth time since 2008. The growth data gathered consisted in tree girth measurements as well as counting of tree recruitment and mortality. In addition, the opportunity was taken to maintain the plots in the prospect of future measurements.
The Congo Basin is the second largest rainforest in the world but the scientific knowledge regarding its growth dynamics is lacking. The data assembled on these sites are therefore particularly valuable. By remeasuring the radial growth of each individual tree on a plot each 4 years, it becomes possible to gain insight on the annual growth increment expected for various species. It also allows for studies on the impact on the forest of various climatic events that occurred in between the different campaigns, such as the El Ninõ phenomenon.
The logistics of the campaign was coordinated in partnership with the CIFOR’s FORETS project (FOrmation Recherche et Environnement dans la TShopo), and the fieldwork was made possible with the help of a team of technicians whom where hired locally.
Félix Laurent, 13/05/2020