Mr. Enock Ssekuubwa

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Research Abstract : 
Ecological characteristics of afrotropical forests restored by planting native tree species and natural regeneration: the role of micro-and meso-scale factors


Brief information on topic and research question: Bradshaw (1987) wrote that “the successful restoration of a disturbed ecosystem is the acid test of our understanding of that ecosystem.”  This quote has often been restated but little research in restoration ecology has been rigorously designed to test the complex interactions between micro-and meso-scale (biotic and abiotic/site and landscape) factors that affect the rate and direction of recovery of restored forests. This implies that our knowledge of how restoration approaches interact with site and landscape factors to influence recovery of afrotropical forests is very limited. The objective of this study is to assess the influence of micro-scale factors (i.e., soil type, historical condition of land, planting mixtures, size of restoration site, age of restoration plantings) and meso-scale factors (distance to primary forest, elevation, aspect) on the recovery of afrotropical forests. Recovery will be assessed in terms of how diversity, composition, structure and function of a restored forest compare with the primary forest in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The following hypotheses will be tested: 



(1)    Wind-dispersed tree species recruit sooner than animal-dispersed tree species in young forests far away from seed sources

(2)    Competition amongst tropical tree species increases with age

(3)    Forests restored by planting native species converge with forests under natural regeneration

(4)    The probability of mortality increases with species abundance in planted forests

(5)    Seed removal is higher in old stands than young stands in planted forests


Progress to date:

  • I have attended one PhD crosscutting course on Philosophy of Methods, at Makerere University
  • I have acquired data  on restoration sites in Kibale NP from Face-Project (Netherlands) 
  • I have collected data for the seed removal experiment
  • Held a second Doctoral meeting with all my supervisors present
  • I am now developing r-codes with my supervisors for analysis of the seed removal data since I was advised to have the first paper on seed removal.
  • Attended one course on Statistical Programming in R
  • Proposal written, presented and approved for submission to DRGT



Some of my supervisors are too busy to read my work but I am working with those who have time. I have also co-opted two senior colleagues to help me. I am considering to change my Doctoral committee members to have members who can help me.

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