Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Population dynamics of some tropical trees that yield non-timber forest products.

Abstract

The population biology of Aquilaria malaccensis, one source of gharu (a black resinous reaction wood used in incense and medicine manufacture), and Cinnamomum mollissimum, one source of wild cinnamon, was studied in a 50 ha permanent plot of primary rain forest at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Median diameter growth rates of 0.22 cm/yr and 0.1 cm/yr, respectively, should not prevent economic exploitation, and suggest that the trees could be grown commercially. However, the natural densities were between 2 and 3 trees over 1 cm d.b.h. per ha, which is roughly the median for all trees in the plot, and would preclude economic exploitation of these natural populations. The price likely to be fetched from either a first time extraction (in the order of US$10.00 per ha) or from sustained production (in the order of US$0.10 per ha per yr), are too small to be of interest as single-product schemes, and are negligible compared with the extraction of multi-species crops of timber. It is possible that by combining multiple products under a 'High Diversity Forestry' scheme, the density of harvestable products could be increased, thereby reducing the unit cost of labour and improving the economic prospect.