Nutrient concentration of inner bark tissue in pine trees in Mpumalanga in relation to baboon damage.

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Show simple item record Mcnamara, Lorraine 2006-10-27T08:49:37Z 2006-10-27T08:49:37Z 2006-10-27T08:49:37Z
dc.description Faculty of Science School of Animal Plant and Enviromental Sciences 0404336v en
dc.description.abstract Pine saw timber plantation forestry on the Eastern Escarpment of South Africa contributes significantly to the economy of the country. Losses to plantation value through fire, insects and disease, and particularly over the last decade, losses due to baboon damage are of serious concern. Anecdotal evidence indicated that baboons damage pine trees shortly following pruning operations and at certain times of the year. A perception existed that damage has increased dramatically, yet no documented evidence to this effect is available. As a result two physiological studies were undertaken to investigate whether changes in nutrient concentration of inner bark tissues of pine trees on the Eastern Escarpment of South Africa, act as triggers for baboon damage. A literature review was also undertaken to document the extent of baboon damage, tree volume and associated economic costs. A comparison was made with Zimbabwe, where baboon damage is quoted to be a severe threat to the continued viability of plantation forestry. The first study investigated changes in nutrient concentration of the soft, inner bark tissue of Pinus patula, in response to pruning measured in five year old plantations in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Samples of tissues were collected from pruned and unpruned trees at 2, 7, 14 and 28 days after 26% of the live crown had been removed in the pruning treatment. Results indicated that live pruning of Pinus patula did not influence nutrient concentration of inner bark tissues at set intervals post pruning. Treatment differences of aggregate data for sample interval showed that potassium concentration increased by 0.03% whereas magnesium concentration decreased by 0.02% following pruning. Aggregate data for treatment showed that phosphorus, carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose and starch), boron and nitrogen concentration, and moisture content of inner bark tissues varied during the short time period of the study. Variations are attributed to iv the commencement of growth, translocation of nutrients from needles and branches and possibly moisture stress. Results from the study do not support anecdotal evidence that baboon damage to pine plantations which increases shortly after pruning operations is as a direct physiological response to the pruning event. In this study it is much more likely that changes in nutrient concentrations coincided with a remobilization of resources in response to seasonal triggers. In the second study, nutrient concentrations of the inner bark of Pinus patula and Pinus taeda growing on the Eastern Escarpment of South Africa were studied over a seasonal cycle in order to investigate the allegations that baboon damage in the plantations was related to the degree of nutrient remobilization. Significant differences were found in phosphorus concentration and moisture content across seasons and between baboon damaged and undamaged trees. Undamaged Pinus taeda trees recorded the highest phosphorus levels in April 2003 (0.13%). Moisture content was lowest in damaged Pinus patula trees in August 2003 (57%). Anecdotal evidence that baboon damage to pine trees on the Eastern Escarpment of Mpumalanga increases prior to the growing season is supported by the significant changes in inner bark tissue concentration. Nutrient translocation prior to needle fall alters inner bark nutrient concentration, as does moisture stress and demand for nutrients prior to cambial activity. Pine bark is easier to peel during periods of peak cambial activity. These factors are discussed as they may trigger baboon damage. Significantly higher inner bark tissue concentrations of sucrose (4.25 versus 2.61%), starch (4.75 versus 2.84%) and nitrogen (0.61 versus 0.49%) in Pinus taeda compared with Pinus patula, supports anecdotal evidence that Pinus taeda is preferentially damaged by baboons. Baboon damaged trees contained higher concentrations of zinc (30.4 versus 22.3 ppm) and calcium (0.26 versus 0.20%), and lower concentrations of sucrose (2.95 versus 3.91%) and starch (3.21 versus v 4.39%) than undamaged trees, which was attributed to resource allocation to wound response and not that baboons selected trees with higher concentrations of zinc or calcium. The variability of inner bark tissue concentration due to a number of factors highlights that baboon damage in pine plantations is not readily answered, and remains a complex problem. A literature review was undertaken of reported baboon damage occurrence and intensity of damage, following statements that baboon damage to pine plantations is rapidly escalating in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. The extent and intensity of baboon damage from the first reported damage (1960’s) until current levels are documented. A comparison is made between Zimbabwe and South Africa where the baboon damage is viewed as a serious problem. The extent of baboon damage in Zimbabwe, expressed as the total percentage of area damaged by baboons as a function of the total area planted to pine for the period 2000-2004 has escalated from 10.8 to 13.3% despite harvesting activities removing damaged trees (Fergusson, 2004). The total area with reported baboon damage in Zimbabwe amounted to 5 317 hectares in 2004 (Fergusson, 2004). In South Africa baboon damage has increased markedly from the first reports of 300 hectares in 1980 (Bigalke, 1980) to 7 641 hectares in 2004. The average percentage of trees damaged in affected compartments is 20.4% with the percentage increasing from 17.2 to 23.6% from 2002-2004. Pinus taeda appears to be the most severely affected species with Pinus elliottii showing increasing levels of damage in many compartments in 2004. Quantifying the value lost by baboon damage to the industry requires reliable assessment methods that are cost effective to implement. Assessment methods need to take into account the position of the damage on the stem, and resultant saw log value that is lost. Assessment methods implemented in South Africa and Zimbabwe are described, and results given by method applied. A standard assessment method is required for comparisons to be made between areas vi with baboon damage. An investigation in Zimbabwe highlighted significant differences between standing tree volume estimations (4.98 – 7.59 m3/ha, with various methods), and actual volume losses (50.45 m3/ha) (Ngorima et. al., 2002). The associated Rand value loss determined by the South African assessment method in 2004 was in excess of 20 million Rand. This estimated loss in revenue does not include losses of incremental growth due to the damage, re-establishment costs, loss of thinning and clearfelling product revenue due to timber wastage, or losses experienced in down line processing at the saw mill. The extent of the baboon damage problem warrants proactive management, continued monitoring and investment into research in order to gain a better understanding of the problem. The increase in the extent of baboon damage from early documented figures is most alarming, showing that the baboon damage problem continues to grow. en
dc.format.extent 2085436 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Bark Stripping en
dc.subject Physiology en
dc.subject prunung en
dc.subject Pines en
dc.subject Responses en
dc.title Nutrient concentration of inner bark tissue in pine trees in Mpumalanga in relation to baboon damage. en
dc.type Thesis en

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