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Modeling the Dynamics and Species Composition of a Tropical Mixed-Species Uneven-Aged Natural Forest: Effects of Alternative Cutting Regimes

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Sustainable tropical rain forest management is currently the subject of strong interest. There are only a few experimental stations available to research the impact of forest management (especially logging practices) on stand growth. This study develops a quantitative model to describe and simulate the dynamics of an undisturbed stand, as well as a logged uneven-aged, multispecies stand in French Guiana. This is a management-oriented matrix model. It takes into account three main characteristics of the forest dynamics in this type of ecosystem. First, we estimated density-dependence by nonlinear regression of the dynamics parameters (growth, mortality, and ingrowth). Second, a site effect is introduced on the assumption that the stand density in a natural stand is an approximate site characteristic and may help define the steady state corresponding to undisturbed conditions. Third, the very high species diversity is reduced by combining species into five groups based on growth behavior with reference to shade tolerance and maximum potential size. The model has been validated with short-term as well as medium-term projections. It was used to assess the stability of such a stand. We also evaluated the biological sustainability of logging practices, that is, the ability to return to the steady state in terms of total density as well as species composition. For. Sci. 44(1):113-124.

Keywords: French Guiana; Matrix model; silviculture; species composition

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Researcher at the Forest Department of CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Intemationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), B.P. 5035 34032 Montpellier, France. Phone: 04-67-59-38-81;, Fax: 04-67-59-37-33

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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