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Contrasting taxonomic and functional responses of a tropical tree community to selective logging


Baraloto, Christopher; Hérault, Bruno; Paine, C E Timothy; Massot, Hélène; Blanc, Lilian; Bonal, Damien; Molino, Jean-François; Nicolini, Eric A; Sabatier, Daniel (2012). Contrasting taxonomic and functional responses of a tropical tree community to selective logging. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49(4):861-870.

Abstract

1. Considerable debate surrounds the extent to which tropical forests can be managed for resource extraction while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem properties, which depend on functional composition. Here we evaluate the compatibility of these aims by examining the effects of logging on taxonomic and functional diversity and composition in a tropical forest.

2. Twenty years after selective logging, we inventoried 4140 stems regenerating in logging gaps and adjacent undisturbed areas, and we integrated a database of 13 functional traits describing leaf and wood economics of tropical trees.

3. We found no differences in taxonomic and functional richness among habitats, but logging gaps had significantly higher taxonomic and functional evenness.

4. Logging also effected striking, long-term changes in both species and functional composition. In particular, the xylem density of recruits in logging gaps was 6% less than in unlogged forests, leaves were 11% less tough and had 6–13% greater mineral nutrient concentrations.

5. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that managers of tropical forests should limit overall surface area converted to logging gaps by creating fewer, larger gaps during selective logging, to reduce impacts on the taxonomic and functional composition of the regenerating stand.

Abstract

1. Considerable debate surrounds the extent to which tropical forests can be managed for resource extraction while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem properties, which depend on functional composition. Here we evaluate the compatibility of these aims by examining the effects of logging on taxonomic and functional diversity and composition in a tropical forest.

2. Twenty years after selective logging, we inventoried 4140 stems regenerating in logging gaps and adjacent undisturbed areas, and we integrated a database of 13 functional traits describing leaf and wood economics of tropical trees.

3. We found no differences in taxonomic and functional richness among habitats, but logging gaps had significantly higher taxonomic and functional evenness.

4. Logging also effected striking, long-term changes in both species and functional composition. In particular, the xylem density of recruits in logging gaps was 6% less than in unlogged forests, leaves were 11% less tough and had 6–13% greater mineral nutrient concentrations.

5. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that managers of tropical forests should limit overall surface area converted to logging gaps by creating fewer, larger gaps during selective logging, to reduce impacts on the taxonomic and functional composition of the regenerating stand.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:30 May 2013 13:52
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:48
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0021-8901
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02164.x

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