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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Diameter growth of trees in miombo and acacia woodland in an eroded landscape in NE Tanzania

Backeus, Ingvar; Skoglund, Jerry; Skarpe, Christina; Hytteborn, Hakan


Diameter increment of trees typical of miombo and acacia woodland was studied during a period of 20 years in Kondoa district, Tanzania. The study was performed in permanent plots in a severely degraded area subjected to considerable restoration efforts. A total of 15 species were selected from a database collected within a project for monitoring the landscape recovery. Growth performance of African woodland species was searched for in the literature for comparison, and a comprehensive list of citations was compiled. We found growth to fall within the range reported in earlier studies, although growth varied both between and within species. There are reports that the radial increments of trees are unimodal over their lifespan, but we found no clear support. In several species, the annual growth increased with stem diameter. Growth during the rainy ENSO year 1997/98 was pairwise compared with the preceding two years and was found to be significantly higher during the wet year, pointing to soil water as a limiting factor. We conclude that free development is an alternative to tree planting on marginal land.


acacias; Brachystegia; degraded ecosystem; limiting factors; rainfall; restoration; semi-arid; tree growth

Published in

African Journal of Ecology
2022, volume: 60, number: 3, pages: 714-722
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Backeus, Ingvar
Uppsala University
Skoglund, Jerry
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Skarpe, Christina
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Hytteborn, Hakan
Uppsala University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

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