Research lead in the Nkula phenological park (Luki MAB) in the context of the PilotMAB project (2020)

2019 - 2020, Nkula phenological park (Luki MAB)

 

The Luki Forest Reserve is located in south-western DRC, in the Kongo Central province. It is the southernmost remnant of the highly diverse Mayombe forest. To the south-west of the reserve, a forest known as the Nkula phenological park has been used as a study site ever since the late 40’s. In facts, about 3750 woody plants have been monitored every 10 days from January 1948 until December 1957 for phenological traits such as flowering, leaf shedding, fruiting, and dispersal of fruits (Couralet et al. 2013). The data were originally handwritten on notebooks (such as shown on the image bellow) and are still used today as a basis for research on tree phenology and a frame for current fieldworks (Couralet et al. 2013, Angoboy et al. 2019).

 

Figure (as shown in Angoboy et al. 2019): a. Tree tagged for growth and phenological monitoring, in the Nkula park; b. Phenological logs kept at the Luki herbarium. Pictures by B. Angoboy Ilondea.
Figure (as shown in Angoboy et al. 2019): a. Tree tagged for growth and phenological monitoring, in the Nkula park; b. Phenological logs kept at the Luki herbarium. Pictures by B. Angoboy Ilondea.

 

The PilotMAB project aims to strengthen the physical and virtual diffusion of scientific research results to the larger scientific community. The collection of data and samples in Luki has been planned specifically to sustain this objective and expand the knowledge on tree growth, forest resilience, phenology, and carbon stocks, among other things.

In this respect a few activities were carried out in the Nkula Park in 2020, including the collection of tree architecture data, the fitting of new monitoring plots, and the setting up of new landmarks to materialize the plots.

 

Work cited:

Couralet, C, Van Den Bulcke, J, Ngoma, LM, Van Acker, J, and Beeckman, H. "Phenology in functional groups of central african rainforest trees." Journal Of Tropical Forest Science 25.3 (2013): 361-74. Web.

Angoboy Ilondea B., Beeckman H., Ouédraogo D.-Y., Bourland N., De Mil T., Van Den Bulcke J., Van Acker J., Couralet C., Ewango C., Hubau W., Toirambe B., Doucet J.-L., Fayolle A., 2019. Une forte saisonnalité du climat et de la phénologie reproductive dans la forêt du Mayombe : l’apport des données historiques de la Réserve de Luki en République démocratique du Congo. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques, 341 : 39-53. Doi : https://doi.org/10.19182/bft2019.341.a31753

 

Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Forestry, Democratic Republic of Congo, climate change, phenological rhythms, plant-climate interactions, tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest, fruiting phenology, flowering patterns, periodicity, diversity, dynamics, time, Forestry Sciences.

 

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