[MCN] Forest recovery difficult after selective logging
lance at wildrockies.org
Wed Sep 30 13:42:17 EDT 2015
Forest Ecology and Management, 1 December 2015, Pages 10-21
Selective logging: Do rates of forest turnover in
stems, species composition and functional traits
decrease with time since disturbance? - A 45 year
Oyomoare L. Osazuwa-Peters et al
*Succession theory predicts changes in forest
attributes after selective logging.
*Stems, species, and functional trait change
should decline approaching unlogged steady state.
*Selective logging resulted in persistently
higher turnover rates in Kibale's forest.
*Turnover rates did not decline and were also high in unlogged forests.
*Ongoing forest-wide disturbance may limit recovery from selective logging.
Abstract- (bold emphasis added)
Selective logging, the targeted harvesting of
timber trees in a single cutting cycle, is
globally rising in extent and intensity.
Short-term impacts of selective logging on
tropical forests have been widely investigated,
but long-term effects on temporal dynamics of
forest structure and composition are largely
unknown. Understanding these long-term dynamics
will help determine whether tropical forests are
resilient to selective logging and inform choices
between competing demands of anthropogenic use
versus conservation of tropical forests. Forest
dynamics can be studied within the framework of
succession theory, which predicts that temporal
turnover rates should decline with time since
disturbance. Here, we investigated the temporal
dynamics of a tropical forest in Kibale National
Park, Uganda over 45 years following selective
logging. We estimated turnover rates in stems,
species composition, and functional traits (wood
density and diameter at breast height), using
observations from four censuses in 1989, 1999,
2006, and 2013, of stems 10 cm diameter within 17
unlogged and 9 logged 200 ? 10 m vegetation
plots. We used null models to account for
interdependencies among turnover rates in stems,
species composition, and functional traits. We
tested predictions that turnover rates should be
higher and decrease with increasing time since
the selective logging event in logged forest, but
should be less temporally variable in unlogged
forest. Overall, we found higher turnover rates
in logged forest for all three attributes, but
turnover rates did not decline through time in
logged forest and was not less temporally
variable in unlogged forest. These results
indicate that successional models that assume
recovery to pre-disturbance conditions are
inadequate for predicting the effects of
selective logging on the dynamics of the tropical
forest in Kibale. Selective logging resulted in
persistently higher turnover rates, which may
compromise the carbon storage capacity of
Kibale's forest. Selective logging effects may
also interact with effects from other global
trends, potentially causing major long-term
shifts in the dynamics of tropical forests.
Similar studies in tropical forests elsewhere
will help determine the generality of these
conclusions. Ultimately, the view that selective
logging is a benign approach to the management of
tropical forests should be reconsidered in the
light of studies of the effects of this practice
on long-term forest dynamics.
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