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Effect of reduced-impact logging on seedling recruitment in a neotropical forest

Rivett, Skye, Bicknell, Jake E., Davies, Zoe G. (2016) Effect of reduced-impact logging on seedling recruitment in a neotropical forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 367 . pp. 71-79. ISSN 0378-1127. (doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.02.022) (KAR id:54525)

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Seedling growth and survival are critical for tropical rainforest regeneration. Alterations to natural disturbance regimes, such as those brought about by logging, have the potential to shift relative species abundances and the community composition of forests, resulting in population declines for commercially valuable species. Timber operations therefore need to minimise such changes if long-term sustainability is to be achieved within the industry. Reduced-impact logging (RIL) has been promoted widely as an alternative management strategy to conventional selective logging, as it employs practices that decrease the negative impacts of logging within forests. However, the long-term sustainability of RIL, including the influence it has on the regeneration of species targeted for timber extraction, is still uncertain. Here we undertake a comparative study in Iwokrama forest, Guyana, examining seedling densities of four commercially valuable and two pioneer tree species in unlogged, 1.5 years and 4.5 years postharvest forest plots to ascertain how seedling regeneration is effected by RIL. We find that RIL had either a neutral or positive impact on the density of seedlings of timber species when compared to unlogged forest, with pioneer species densities remaining unaffected. We conclude that the forestry practices associated with RIL have little effect on the natural regeneration rates of key commercially valuable tree species in logged neotropical forests.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.02.022
Uncontrolled keywords: Guyana; Regeneration; Forest disturbance; RIL; Sustainable forestry; Timber;
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Jake Bicknell
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 15:30 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 23:19 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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