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Asase A.,University of Ghana | Asiatokor B.K.,University of Ghana | Ofori-Frimpong K.,Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2014

We investigated the effects of selective logging disturbances on tree diversity and soil characteristics in the Bia Conservation Area in southwest Ghana. The study was conducted in unlogged, 29-35 years post-logged and swamp forests using ten 25 m × 25 m plots. In total, we identified 310 individual trees belonging to 87 species. Mean Shannon-Weiner index was highest in the post-logged forest but there were no significant differences in tree density, dominance, or DBH size class distributions between these forests. Soil physical properties such as pH and bulk density up to 30 cm depth were similar in the two of forests In terms of soil nutrient status, available P, exchangeable K and total N contents were all similar in the unlogged and post-logged forests. Our findings suggest that the effects of logging on tree diversity are comparatively long-term, in contrast to its short-term effects on some top soil physical and chemical characteristics. © 2014 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Wade A.S.I.,University of Reading | Asase A.,University of Ghana | Hadley P.,University of Reading | Mason J.,Nature Conservation Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2010

How do we manage the trade-offs between agricultural yields, biodiversity and ecosystem services? One option is to adopt high yield, intensive farming that allows land to be spared elsewhere for conservation (land sparing); another is to adopt low yield, extensive farming over a greater area that retains more biodiversity and protects ecosystem services (wildlife-friendly farming). We examine which is likely to be the best option to achieve high carbon storage and tree species richness in tropical cocoa-growing landscapes. Increased management intensity explained higher yield and in turn this explained a reduction in carbon storage and species richness. Substantial differences in species richness between forest and cocoa farms suggested that land sparing would conserve more tree species than wildlife-friendly farming. The optimal strategy for carbon storage depends on the cocoa yield in the wildlife-friendly farming system. At low cocoa yields, wildlife-friendly farming is the best option; whereas at higher yields land sparing is best. Our results suggest that the best land management strategy for biodiversity and ecosystem services might differ depending on details of the farming systems involved. Management of the trade-offs between agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem services in tropical forest landscapes needs to consider current and expected future yields. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Afoakwa E.O.,University of Ghana | Quao J.,University of Ghana | Takrama J.,Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana | Budu A.S.,University of Ghana | Saalia F.K.,University of Ghana
Journal of Food Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Investigations were conducted to evaluate the effects of pod storage (as a means of pulp preconditioning) and fermentation on the chemical composition and physical characteristics of Ghanaian cocoa beans. A 4 × 2 full factorial design with factors as pod storage (0, 7, 14, 21 days) and cocoa treatment (fermented and unfermented) were conducted. Samples were analyzed for their chemical composition (moisture, crude fat, crude protein, ash and carbohydrate content) and mineral content using standard analytical methods. The physical qualities of the beans were analyzed for their proportions of cocoa nibs, shells and germ. Fermentation and increasing pod storage resulted in significant (P < 0.05) decreases in ash (3.48-2.92%), protein (21.63-17.62%) and fat (55.21-50.40%) content of the beans while carbohydrate content increased from 15.47% to 24.93% with both treatments. As well, increasing pod storage and fermentation significantly (P < 0.05) increased the copper content of the beans from while reductions in Mg and K occurred. Amongst the minerals studied, potassium was the most abundant mineral followed by magnesium, phosphorus and calcium in the fermented cocoa beans. Proportion of cocoa nibs also increased from with increasing pod storage and fermentation whiles reductions in shell content and no appreciable changes in germ proportions were noted. © 2011 Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India). Source

Asase A.,University of Ghana | Ofori-Frimpong K.,Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana | Ekpe P.K.,University of Ghana
African Journal of Ecology | Year: 2010

Cocoa production occurs almost wholly within areas identified as biodiversity hotspots in West Africa and it has been noted as a major contributor to deforestation at the forest-agriculture interface. This study investigated the impact of cocoa farming on vegetation in relation to three land-use types of increasing cocoa production intensity from remnant native forest through shaded to unshaded cocoa farmlands in Ghana. The study used transects and forty-two 25 m × 25 m vegetation plots. The overall noncocoa plant species richness decreased significantly (95% CI) from the remnant native forest through shaded to the unshaded cocoa farmlands. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) were also found in the mean density and basal area of noncocoa plants per hectare with the remnant native forest recording the highest values and the unshaded cocoa farmlands the lowest. The relative density of about 44.7% out of the 41 most abundant plant species declined in cocoa farmlands. The results of this study showed that cocoa farming could result in a drastic forest plant species loss with subsequent recruitment of nonforest species, forest plant species population decline as well as changes in the structural characteristics of the vegetation. This impact increases with increasing cocoa production intensity. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Acheampong K.,Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana | Hadley P.,University of Reading | Daymond A.J.,University of Reading
Experimental Agriculture | Year: 2013

The physiological performance of four cacao clones was examined under three artificial shade regimes over the course of a year in Ghana. Plants under light shade had significantly higher photosynthetic rates in the rainy seasons whereas in the dry season there was a trend of higher photosynthetic rates under heavy shade. The results imply that during the wet seasons light was the main limiting factor to photosynthesis whereas in the dry season vapour pressure deficit was the major factor limiting photosynthesis through stomatal regulation. Leaf area was generally lower under heavier shade but the difference between shade treatments varied between clones. Such differences in leaf area allocation appeared to underlie genotypic differences in final biomass production in response to shade. The results suggest that shade for young cacao should be provided based on the current ambient environment and genotype. © 2012 Cambridge University Press. Source

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