Assessment of Timber Harvest in Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem of South West Nigeria and Its Implication on Carbon Sequestration

  • Adekunle, Victor A. (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology) ;
  • Lawal, Amadu (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology) ;
  • Olagoke, Adewole O. (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology)
  • Received : 2012.12.03
  • Accepted : 2013.11.25
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Timber harvest in natural forests and its implications on carbon sequestration were investigated in the Southwestern Nigeria. Data on timber harvest from forest estates for a 3-year period were collected from the official record of States' Forestry Department. The data registered the species, volume and number of timbers exploited during the study period. The data were analyzed accordingly for rate of timber harvest and carbon value of the exploited timbers using existing biomass functions. Values were compared for significant differences among states using one way analysis of variance. The results showed that the most exploited logs, in terms of volume and number of trees, have the highest amount of carbon removal. There was a variation in type of timber species being exploited from each state. The total number of harvested trees from Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti and Osun were estimated at 100,205; 111,789; 753; 15,884 and 18,153 respectively. Total quantity of carbon removed for the 3-year period stood at 2.3 million metric tons, and this translated to 8.4 million metric tons of $CO_2$. The annual carbon and $CO_2$ removal therefore were estimated at 760,120.73 tons and 2.8 million tons/ year respectively. There were significant differences (p<0.05) in the amount of $CO_2$ removed from the five states. Based on our result, we inferred that there is increasing pressure on economic tree species and it is plausible that they are becoming scarce from the forests in Southwestern Nigeria.. If the present rate of log removal is not controlled, forests could become carbon source rather than carbon sink and the on biological conservation, wood availability and climate change may turn out grave. For the forest to perform its environmental role as carbon sink, urgent conservation measures and logging policies are needed to be put in place.


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