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The Status of Canopy Density and above Ground Biomass along the Northern Coastal Forest Zone of Tanzania

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Canopy density and forest biomass estimation are critical for understanding of the carbon cycle, climate change and detecting health status of the forest ecosystems. This study was conducted on the coastal forests reserves in Zanzibar and mainlandTanzania. A systematic sampling design was used to establish a total of 110temporary sample plots in all study sites. The stratification of the forestswas adopted to identify closed forest patches with less anthropogenic effects. The study assessed the forest canopydensity and above ground biomass with relative carbon stock for closed forestclasses. Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park in Zanzibar recorded higher averagecanopy densities of 63 followed by Ngezi (46 ), Pugu forests (26 ) and Kazimzumbwi (16 ). However, Ngezi forest had higher forest biomass than allstudy sites with the overall mean AGB of138.5 tAGB ha equivalent to carbon stockof 67.9 tC ha. Tree species, Bombax rhodognaphala (Msufi mwitu) and Antiaris toxicaria (Mgulele) recorded the highest biomass of 1099 tABG haand 703 tAGB ha (equivalent to 538 tC ha and (345 tC ha)) respectively. The study revealed that about 35 of the total closed forestpatches at Pugu FR were covered by lower canopy density which accounted about 490 ha.Kazimzumbwi FR was dominated by lower canopy density which represented about64 of the total forest cover area (1750 ha).

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