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Lum, Shawn K. Y.
Forest regeneration takes place naturally after land that has been cleared is abandoned. The study of forest regeneration has taken on increasing urgency given the widespread clearing and fragmentation of forests. Singapore offers lessons in forest regeneration given its intensive land use history and its various kinds of vegetation recovery. In this study, factors affecting primary forest regeneration in a semi-abandoned site, Bukit Brown Cemetery, were examined. The factors studied were seed rain, seed germination and seedling survival rate, seed predation and sapling establishment. The study site was set up as 2 different plots, A and B, with A being nearer to MacRitchie Reservoir. 10 Seed traps of 1m x 1m were set up in random locations in each plot and left for 9 months. Seeds were collected every 2 weeks and counted. The number of seeds found did not differ significantly between Plot A and Plot B (P>0.05). Seed germination and seedling survival was studied by placing seeds of Artocarpus heterophyllus at the seed trap sites in both Plot A and Plot B. The seeds were left to germinate and successful germination was recorded. Seedlings were monitored over 6 months to ascertain their survival rate. Seed germination and seedling survival differed significantly between Plot A and Plot B (P<0.05). Seed predation was simulated by placing seeds of Artocarpus heterophyllus at the seed trap sites in both Plot A and Plot B. The seeds were left for 1 week and the number of seeds remaining was recorded. This was repeated for 2 weeks. Seed predation differed significantly between Plot A and Plot B (P<0.05). Sapling belt transects were laid out in both Plot A and Plot B. The number of saplings between 30cm to 60cm and above 60cm was counted. The number of saplings did not differ significantly between Plot A and Plot B (P>0.05). A plant survey conducted on a patch of regenerating forest that had been left untouched at the edge of Bukit Brown Cemetery on the side of Lornie Road uncovered a large species diversity of late secondary and primary forest species that have successfully dispersed and established. Although many of the identified primary forest species are saplings, their presence indicates that seeds are making it across from MacRitchie to Bukit Brown Cemetery. These results have interesting implications for primary forest regeneration. Nonetheless, while there is evidence of regeneration in the secondary forests in Bukit Brown Cemetery, the rate of regeneration has been slow and may be significantly influenced by human interference.
|Appears in Collections:||Master of Science (Life Sciences)|
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