Soils of degraded forest reserves and key species for plantation development in Ghana

Authors: Victor K. Agyeman, James Senaya, Luke C. N. Anglaaere, Christian D. Dedjoe, Ernest G. Foli & Stella Britwum Acquah

This publication gives a description of consociations, associations and complexes of soils that are encountered in some forest reserves in Ghana. The information provided is mainly on the major characteristics of the soils encountered and their suitability for plantation development in the forest reserves. It does not capture information on the extent of individual soils found suitable for purposes other than commercial forest plantation development.

Over 50 per cent of all the degraded forest reserves earmarked for plantation development have soils that are generally considered very good (S1) and are capable of supporting good growth of the forest tree species selected for the establishment of plantations.

The variety of soils encountered in the reserves can be grouped, on the basis of common properties, into:
Deep upland soils  -     Lixisols, Luvisols, Acrisols and Alfisols;   Shallow/Concretionary upland soils    -   Leptosols and Plinthosols; Low land soil    -     Cambisols and Arensols; Valley bottom soils    -    Gleysols and Fluvisols

The report further gives a brief description of the general profile of the tree species recommended for plantation establishment in Ghana. The recommendation of possible tree species that may be planted in each of the reserves is based mainly on the broad soil characteristics described for each reserve in relation to the site requirements outlined for the individual species. All the recommended tree species, under good management regimes, are also capable of a good growth rate and can be managed on rotations ranging from 20-35 years to produce between 210–400 m3 ha-1 of sawlogs, depending on the species.