Can we go beyond timber and manage for both timber and non-timber forest products?: The case of rattans near Kisangani, DR Congo

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Rattans, one of the major non-timber forest products used by the population in and around Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo), are a significant source of income and the basis of a very active informal sector focused towards supplying the city with raw canes. We present the effects of harvest and light availability on the demography of two common rattan species in the Yoko forest reserve, near Kisangani: Eremospatha haullevilleana De Wild. and Laccosperma secundiflorum (P. Beauv.) Küntze. We studied clump demography for a year, under variable light condition and harvesting regimes (control, partial harvest and complete harvest of adult stems). We show a positive effect of full and partial light availability on the dynamic of individuals for both species but with variable treatment responses. We also demonstrate that a partial harvest of two-thirds of adults cane is beneficial or nondetrimental to the production of new shoots under partial or full-light conditions. These results suggest opportunities for multiple-use management that integrate timber and rattan harvesting in forest around Kisangani.

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