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Modeling the Effects of Type and Intensity of Selective Logging on Forests of the Amazon

Authors: Theodore N.S. Karfakis, Anna Andrade, Carolina Volkmer-Castilho, Dennis R. Valle, Eric Arets, Paul van Gardingen


The aim of the work presented here was to either use existing forest dynamic simulation models or calibrate a new one both within the SYMFOR framework with the purpose of examining changes in stand level basal area and functional composition in response to selective logging considering trees > 10 cm d.b.h for two areas of undisturbed Amazonian non flooded tropical forest in Brazil and one in Peru. Model biological realism was evaluated for forest in the undisturbed and selectively logged state and it was concluded that forest dynamics were realistically represented. Results of the logging simulation experiments showed that in relation to undisturbed forest simulation subject to no form of harvesting intervention there was a significant amount of change over a 90 year simulation period that was positively proportional to the intensity of logging. Areas which had in the dynamic equilibrium of undisturbed forest a greater proportion of a specific ecological guild of trees known as the light hardwoods (LHW’s) seemed to respond more favorably in terms of less deviation but only within a specific range of baseline forest composition beyond which compositional diversity became more important. These finds are in line partially with practical management experience and partiality basic systematics theory respectively.

Keywords: Amazonbasin, ecological species guild, selective logging, simulation modeling.

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