Nine decades of regulating timber harvest from forest reserves and the status of residual forests in Ghana

K. A. Adam, Michelle Amy Pinard, Michael David Swaine

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8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assess the effectiveness of forest regulations applied between 1900 and 1990 in Ghana's permanent forest reserves at ensuring a future crop of marketable trees by relating forest regulation to historical data on timber exploitation and forest inventory data. During the study period, the commercial species list steadily increased from 3 to 66 species, felling diameter limits and Cutting cycles changed several times. Average densities of commercial steins in residual forests in 1989 followed a negative exponential Curve, but with lower than expected recruitment into the 40-60 cm dbh class and relatively high densities of smaller sized trees. At the species level, heavily exploited species and light demanding pioneer species deviated from a balanced distribution. Patterns in exploitation, either in number of species or total stems removed, were unrelated to the application of harvesting regulations, milling capacity and political instability may have played a larger role. Results suggest that the harvest regulations, as applied in the past and those in place, are unlikely to sustain timber production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Forestry Review
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Ghana
  • forest regulation
  • minimum felling diameters
  • selective logging
  • tropical forest

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