Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?In terms of tree survival, bark harvesting is the most dangerous practice because it leaves the sensitive cambium opened which expose it to desiccation and parasitic attacks. Hence, it is imperative to understand the impact and response of harvest on the tree. Our study examined the impact of bark harvesting on four over exploited trees in order to encourage sustainable management of medicinal trees and to come out with a method for their sustainable management.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?Healthy trees, which were structurally perfect with no prior debarking, were selected. Trees were categorized into three size classes, considering the diameter class distribution. To compare the different techniques on bark regeneration capacity, three treatments were used on each tree which were total bark removal, partial bark removal and cover treatment. All trees were monitored every three months of bark harvesting and data was recorded for two years. The effect was observed in terms of edge augmentation, sheet development and vegetative growth.
Results: What are your most important results?The results established the theory that tree response to bark harvesting is species-specific.The bark regeneration was found to be treatment as well as size dependent and over a period, complete bark re-growth was rarely attained. Overall,the commercial harvest method of total bark removal posed most detrimental effects on tree. In contrary, partial harvest with moisture treatment supported the regeneration rate and was the best technique of harvesting but
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?Our results offer the fundamentals essential to characterize a stratagem that can facilitate forest managers to opt for the most apposite bark-harvesting scheme for different medicinal tree species. Managers need to take objective decisions on the most appropriate harvest options for a particular species to ensure that bark harvesting is sustainable and to optimize socio-economic benefits from the resources used.