Study on indigenous forest tree species considering future climate change

Indigenous forest tree species

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2007 3 Pages

Forestry / Forestry Economics


Mohammad Rahmat Ullah

Institute of Forestry & Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong

Introduction: Global climate change is one of the burning issues of present time where carbon has an important role to play. There is growing local to international concern over the increase of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere over the last decades. Organic carbon sequestration trapping by plants is thought to be a promising means for reducing atmospheric CO2, an important green house gas. Bangladesh is now facing and will be very adversely affected due to the adverse affect of global climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in a 2001 report that, by 2100, average global surface temperature will raise 1.40C to 5.80C above 1990 levels. Increase in temperature is a major concern for future when anybody considers climate change. Effect of temperature on germination of seeds an important factor and this piece of research may be step forward to open the resources present in this time. The study encompasses three indigenous tree species Albizia procera, Cassia fistula and Lagerstroemia speciosa and these three are dominant regenerating species of Chittagong natural forest. Whether these three species may thrive well in future is yet to be experimented and published. Therefore, a need may exist to conduct a research to identify the climate friendly tree species and to estimate their organic carbon stock at an early stage.

Objectives: The sensitivity of germination, initial growth and organic carbon stock of three indigenous species to different temperatures under changing climatic conditions will be assessed to explore future climate friendly tree species. More specifically, the objectives of the study are:

a) To test germination performances under different temperatures using existing, mid and high scenarios prescribed by IPCC for Bangladesh;
b) To examine early stage growth performances of the species under different temperatures using existing, mid and high scenarios prescribed by IPCC for Bangladesh,
c) To determine organic carbon stock of seedlings at initial stage under different temperatures using existing, mid and high scenarios prescribed by IPCC for Bangladesh.

Methodology: The study area includes Padua natural forest, the nursery and seed propagation laboratory of Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong University. Naturally regenerating species in Padua natural forest are Garjan, Jarul, Silkoroi, Sonalu, Bahera, Amloki, Gutguttya and Hargeza. From these, species will be Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Silkoroi (Albizia procera) and Sonalu (Cassia fistula) to find out the effect of temperature on those species. I shall be set the experiment in seed propagation laboratory; daily temperature and humidity will be recorded using digital thermometer and hygrometer during the experiment. Seeds of Albizia procera, Cassia fistula will be treated in hot water and will be sown in seed bed. Seedlings will be kept in different temperatures like high, medium, normal and also in open air. Shoot length, leaf length of all seedlings in each treatment will be recorded at every three days interval and will be continued up to month for growth performance study. Daily germination rate will be computed by dividing cumulative germination percentage by the number of days since the beginning of test. To determine seedling organic carbon first these will be grinded the oven dried plant samples then less than 1gm amount of samples will be taken into pre­weight crucibles. After adjustment of the furnace at 5500C, ignition will be continued for 1 hour and then ash will be weighted and percentage of ash will be calculated.

Result: The result may identify which indigenous species will no longer regenerate in the natural forest of Bangladesh due to climate change. The species that will be studied in this research are using by the Government of Bangladesh in afforestation, reforestation, and roadside plantation. These are considered as multipurpose tree species and poor people depend on these species for fuel-wood, timber etc. If failure of seed germination of these species occurs due to climate change then the investment of the Government as well as the poor people will be in vain.

Contribution & Socio-economy: Sada Koroi is a very important multi purpose tree species of Bangladesh. Jarul is widely used for boat and agricultural implement making, Sonalu is used for producing natural dye and medicine and both the species have good aesthetic value. If we can find out the effect of temperature on the regeneration of this three dominating species of Padua natural forest it will help us a lot for the further betterment and improvement of these tree species and the result of the research can be a guide for the future management plan of the forest area.

Conclusion: Over the years, research has explored a broad range of factors that influence how tree species and forested ecosystems may adapt to climate change. The research is a type of endures for trying to predict the future condition (if measures are fail to stop global warming) of three indigenous species viz. Albizia procera, Lagerstroemia specios and, Cassia fistula. If I could achieve the fellowship it will be convenient for me to conduct the research nicely.

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Title: Study on indigenous forest tree species considering future climate change