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Reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation in tropical forests using reduced-impact logging

Bicknell, Jake E., Struebig, Matthew J., Davies, Zoe G. (2015) Reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation in tropical forests using reduced-impact logging. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52 (2). pp. 379-388. ISSN 0021-8901. (doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12391) (KAR id:47537)

Abstract

Over 20% of the world's tropical forests have been selectively logged, and large expanses are allocated for future timber extraction. Reduced-impact logging (RIL) is being promoted as best practice forestry that increases sustainability and lowers CO2 emissions from logging, by reducing collateral damage associated with timber extraction. RIL is also expected to minimize the impacts of selective logging on biodiversity, although this is yet to be thoroughly tested.

Community analysis revealed little effect of RIL on overall assemblages, as structure and composition were similar before and after logging, and between logging and control sites. Variation in bird assemblages was explained by natural rates of change over time, and not logging intensity. However, when partitioned by feeding guild and strata, the frugivorous and canopy bird ensembles changed as a result of RIL, although the latter was also associated with change over time. Bats exhibited variable changes post-logging that were not related to logging, whereas large mammals showed no change at all.

Synthesis and applications. Our study demonstrates the relatively benign effect of reduced-impact logging (RIL) on birds, bats and large mammals in a neotropical forest context, and therefore, we propose that forest managers should improve timber extraction techniques more widely. If RIL is extensively adopted, forestry concessions could represent sizeable and important additions to the global conservation estate – over 4 million km2.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1365-2664.12391
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Jake Bicknell
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2015 14:05 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 16:02 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/47537 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bicknell, Jake E.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6831-627X
Struebig, Matthew J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2058-8502
Davies, Zoe G.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0767-1467
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