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A fodder tree for and zones
Invertebrate reference book
African agroforestry
Seeking a social dimension for forestry
Log pricing in Australia
Small-scale forestry projects
Halting desertification
Conserving tropical forests

A fodder tree for and zones

Prosopis tamarugo: fodder tree for arid zones. M.A. Habit, D. Contreras T. and R.H. Gonzalez. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 25. Rome, 1981. 110 p. Price: US$4.80.

Reviewed by PETER WOOD

Prosopis species are particularly well-suited to agroforestry in arid zones (ORIGINAL DRAWING BY D. CIGLER)

The three authors of this book are all specialists in their field, with wide experience especially of the areas of northern Chile where Prosopis tamarugo is native. They have produced a book which will undoubtedly remain a valuable reference work for a long time to come.

The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 discusses Prosopis as a genus; Part 2 covers P. tamarugo in detail; Part 3 discusses the role of the tree in animal production; and Part 4 examines the non-biotic site factors of the Tamarugal Pampa, where the tree is native and where it has been planted successfully.

The descriptions of the leguminous plants of northern Chile are exhaustive and include their many uses. Six major species of Prosopis are identified: P. affinis, P. alba, P. chilenis, P. nigra, P. pallida and P. tamarugo. After setting the scene of Great Northern Chile, and the resources of multipurpose trees that it possesses, the book presents what is, in effect, a case study of a project in this desert area at latitude 20° S, run by the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción de Chile (CORFO). The conclusions about the use of the tamarugo tree after five years are summarized as follows: the species grows well in salt-encrusted soils where the water table is at 2 to 10 m depth; it is able, in conditions of high atmospheric humidity, to absorb water through its leaves and to translocate this to the rhizosphere; and it has highly nutritious leaves and pods. The yield from 55 trees per hectare at age 40 is estimated to be over 16 tonnes of fruit and leaves annually.

Side view of a two-to-three-year-old Prosopis tamarugo showing root network and two major taproots. The concentration of roots occurs in the area of greatest humidity. Near Refresco on the Tamarugal Pampa in northern Chile. (ADAPTED BY D. CIGLER FROM ORIGINAL BY F. SUDZUKI)

Graphs are given of height/age, crown diameter/age and food production/age. Curiously little variation in growth and yield has been observed, and the authors do not comment on the possibility of genetic variation within the species, though they give much detail on experiments carried out to determine the plant's ability to absorb and translocate water. The chapter dealing with planting and management describes in detail the seed collection and nursery techniques used in the CORFO project, but the authors do not indicate whether these very specific recommendations are the result of exhaustive trials. For instance, it would be interesting to see the evidence for the polythene bag 12 cm in diameter and 30 cm long and to know the scientific basis for making sure that the roots do not grow out of the plastic bag. There are excellent drawings of planting systems in salt-crust soils and on the use of slow-release plastic bags for watering. The photographs of CORFO's plantations are most impressive.

There is a substantial section on entomology, as might be expected with a native leguminous plant, with details both of pollinating insects and seed pests.

In the section on animal production there is great detail on nutritive values, although it is a pity that percentages are given to two places of decimals when quite clearly the limits of experimental accuracy (no confidence values are given) do not warrant this. Nevertheless, the estimate that one hectare can support three-and-a-half sheep is valuable and the produce of tamarugo appears to be equivalent nutritionally to good-quality hay. The details of wool production of different varieties of sheep fed on tamarugo indicate that its use in agroforestry has great promise.

The geographical description of the project area records much detailed work, though it contributes only a little to the understanding of P. tamarugo and its promise as a fodder tree. There is a bibliography with 113 references.

The authors have produced a valuable work that should inspire and guide others working in similar inhospitable regions, and in particular it gives some examples of lines of research. What is lacking is an account of genetic variation in the species, and its status as a source of germ-plasm, both topics of importance for research workers seeking to introduce tamarugo as an exotic. Perhaps that will follow in a subsequent publication.

PETER WOOD is a member of the Department of Forestry, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

Invertebrate reference book

AT A MARKET IN NIGER grilled locusts are a lot al delicacy Invertebrate reference book

IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book. Compiled by Susan Wells, Robert Pyle and Mark Collins. Gland, Switzerland, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1983. Price: US$20 plus postage.

The first attempt to list endangered species of invertebrates on a world wide scale and to relate them to their role in nature and their usefulness to man is now available as the latest in the IUCN Red Data Book series on threatened wildlife.

There are 1.4 million known species of invertebrates - animals without a backbone - compared to 46000 species of vertebrate mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. There may be two to ten million more as yet undescribed, living in the ocean depths or in tropical forests. Their potential value to man may never be discovered, according to the authors, because they are disappearing rapidly as a result of pollution, razing of forests and the encroachment of man on their habitats.

Invertebrates are major components of food chains, they are of primary importance in the cycling of nutrients and they play a significant role in the maintenance of soil structure and fertility, as the IUCN authors point out. They pollinate plants, exert a natural control on pests, are used in the development of drugs and create products as diverse as silk, dyes, honey and buttons.

An innovation in this volume of the continuing Red Data Book series is a section on threatened communities. Eleven examples are given of tropical forests, caves, wetlands, dry biomes, marine environments and areas with unusual diversity of species. They illustrate situations where human activities may endanger large and unique invertebrate populations.

The IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book is available from the Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, UK; from IUCN, 1196 Gland, Switzerland; and from UNIPUB, Box 433, Murray Hill Station, New York. NY 10016. The book was prepared with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations Environment Programme.

African agroforestry

Agro-forestry in the African humid tropics. Ed. L.H. MacDonald. United Nations University. New York, UNIPUB, 1982, 162 p. Price: US$18.25.

AGROFORESTRY IN GUJARAT STATE. INDIA the need to conceive forestry projects dynamically

Agro-forestry in the African humid tropics is the published proceedings of a workshop held in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1981. The workshop was co-sponsored by the UN University and the international Development Research Centre in collaboration with ICRAF, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, the University of Ibadan, and Nigeria's Federal Department of Forestry Agronomists. Forest resource managers and agriculturists discuss agroforestry principles, present an overview of traditional agroforestry systems and evaluate specific taungya systems and development trends. While this publication brings together information from 14 African countries, both French- and English-speaking, many of the themes are also relevant to tropical Asia and Latin America.

One chapter is devoted to technical data on working agroforestry projects. Agro-forestry in the African humid tropics considers the future development of agroforestry with special regard to the components of such a production system. However, there is still a need to convince farmers, who are the ones who actually carry out the land productivity operations, of the need for agroforestry.

Seeking a social dimension for forestry

Socio-economic effects and constrains in tropical forest management. Ed. E.G. Hallsworth. John Wiley and Sons, 1982, 133 p.

Reviewed by ERIC HYMAN

This book is a compilation of 19 papers presented at a seminar held in Dehra Dun, India, in 1981. It was organized by the International Federation of Institutes of Advanced Study with funding from the Norwegian Agency for International Development,

Since the root causes of the most pressing and persistent problems in the forestry sector in developing nations are socio-economic in origin, the topic is definitely an important one, Although it is good that foresters are confronting these issues, an interdisciplinary approach is required. Consequently, it would have been better if sociologists and economists had been included as contributors to this volume which is represented mainly by foresters.

The geographic distribution of papers is also uneven. Five of the papers deal with India, four are general, two concern Kenya, and there is one paper each on Brazil, Central America, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The most serious drawback of the book is that although there is a considerable amount of information in the papers, much of it does not address the topics stated in the title. Many of the papers are mostly concerned with the historical background of forestry and forest policy and legislation in a country or region, the extent of forest cover and rates of deforestation, and the production of various forest outputs.

ERIC HYMAN is an environmental planner with the Office of Technology Assessment Of the United states Congress

Log pricing in Australia

Log pricing in Australia tog pricing in Australia: policies, practices and consequences. R.N. Byron and J.J. Douglas. BFE Press, PO Box 967, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia, 98 p.

Reviewed by P.A. WARDLE

The objectives of this study are: (a) to examine alternative methods of pricing wood for sale from government forests and to determine the most appropriate methods where circumstances do not permit free market pricing; (b) to examine methods used, prevailing prices for comparable products overseas and the actual prices in Australia (where available) and to compare these with prices that Australian markets could apparently bear; and (c) to evaluate the economic consequences of substantial divergence between apparent worth and prices paid for wood (logs or standing timber) with regard to private growers, taxpayers, the processing industries and consumers.

The prices of wood chips, sawlogs and pulpwood are examined in depth under Australian conditions. Four methods of pricing are considered, namely a resource levy approach, residual pricing, recovery of production costs and free market pricing.

The authors both worked earlier with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Canberra, and both have since worked with an FAO/UNDP project in Bangladesh. Byron has also been lecturer in Forest Economics at the Australian National University.

P.A. WARDLE is senior Forestry Officer (Economics), FAO Forestry Department

Small-scale forestry projects

Environmentally sound small-scale forestry projects: guidelines for planning. Peter F. Ffolliott and John H. Thames. Codel, 1983, 109 p. Price: US$5.95 plus postage.

Designed as an education or extension tool for development workers, this manual reviews key forestry concepts, basic planning techniques and institutional limitations. Each chapter describes a different forestry management method: multiple-use forestry, fuel wood management, agroforestry, shelterbelt and windbreak plantings, reforestation and afforestation. Examples from specific projects and programmes are provided.

Copies of the manual can be ordered from: VITA Publications. 1815 N. Lynn Street, Suite 200, Arlington, Virginia 22209, USA.

Halting desertification

Desertification: how people make deserts, how people can stop and why they don't. Alan Grainger. Earthscan, 1982, 94 p. Price: US$5.50.

The Sahel still teeters on the brink of disaster in spite of intergovernmental aid programmes. What are the causes of human-induced desertification and how can it be stopped? This book tries to answer such questions.

Conserving tropical forests

Tropical moist forests: the resource the people the threat. Catherine Caufield. International Institute for Environment and Development, 1982, 67 p. Available in English, French and Spanish. Price: US$ 5.00.

Originally prepared as a briefing document for international journalists, Tropical moist forests: the resource, the people, the threat discusses the causes of deforestation and its impact on forest-dwellers and proposes ways to combat this problem.

Coconut palm products

A manual by Brian E. Grimwood
Tropical Products Institute, London


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