Research lead in the Manzonzi savannah landscape in the context of the PilotMAB project (2020)

2019 - 2020, Manzonzi savannah (near the Luki MAB)

 

The Manzonzi savannah is located in the Kongo Central province of the DRC, near the Luki Man and Biosphere reserve. It has been chosen in 2006 as a protected site were no grazing nor burning can be conducted. In 2010, the whole site was divided by a total of 10 transects along which permanent study plots were installed systematically and measurements were taken on the newly regenerated woody vegetation (see figure below). These plots were measured again in 2014.

 

Figure: inventory plots and transects in the Manzonzi savannah. Location of the protected site within the DRC (top right), as well as relatively to the Luki MAB (bottom right). Author: WWF-DRC.
Figure: inventory plots and transects in the Manzonzi savannah. Location of the protected site within the DRC (top right), as well as relatively to the Luki MAB (bottom right). Author: WWF-DRC.

 

In 2019, these plots served as a study site for a publication on the “Rate of forest recovery after fire exclusion on anthropogenic savannas” (Deklerck et al., 2019) with funding from Belspo projects. The recolonization of the savannah by trees after a fire and grazing episode is a type of carbon stock recovery system which deserves scientific attention in the current context of global climate changes. As explained in the paper, a better quantification of the long term carbon recovery trajectory can only be assessed through more iterations of the measurements of the trees growth. In this prospects, the Manzonzi plots were visited once again during the years 2019 and 2020 and the trees were inventoried. The data are currently undergoing a pretreatment and “cleaning” phase in order to be analyzed to provide a better insight on these important carbon matters.

 

Work cited: Deklerck Victor, De Mil Tom, Ilondea Bhély, Nsenga Laurent, Caluwé Céline, Van den Bulcke Jan, Van Acker Joris, Beeckman Hans, Hubau, Wannes (2019). Rate of forest recovery after fire exclusion on anthropogenic savannas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Biological Conservation. 233. 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.02.027.

 

Keywords: Luki, MAB, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Manzonzi, deferred grazing area, permanent plots, systematic inventory, tropical tree growth, Burning, Savanna, Exclosure, Transition forest, Carbon stock, REDD+.

 

Félix Laurent, based on an activity report written by Bhely ANGOBOY Ilondea (2020), 14/08/2020