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Estimating damage from selective logging and implications for tropical forest management

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The proportion of stems damaged by logging is a key parameter for the management of natural productive forests in the three tropical continents (Africa, Neotropics, and southeastern Asia). Based on a review of the literature and on a meta-analysis of published data, we estimated this logging damage rate for conventional logging and compared it across continents. Scaling coefficients were estimated to convert damage rate and logging intensity from one unit to another. Felled trees were smaller in the Neotropics (61 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) on average) than in Africa or Asia (92 cm dbh). A pantropical equation relating the proportion of trees damaged (α, no unit) to logging intensity (N log, in ha–1) was fitted: α = 1 – (1 + 0.09135N log)–0.70461. A significant residual continent effect was found, with lower damage in the Neotropics than in Africa or Asia for the same level of logging intensity, in agreement with the size of felled trees. The damage rate varied with the size of damaged trees and divided equally between destroyed and injured trees, with injured trees experiencing a threefold mortality rate during 5–10 years. Taking account at least of the relationship between logging damage and logging intensity would improve the accuracy of forecasts in forest management.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-03-15

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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