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Geophysical Monograph Series

 

Keywords

  • Rain forest ecology—Amazon River Region
  • Biosphere—Research—Amazon River Region
  • Climatic changes—Amazon River Region
  • Amazon River Region—Climate

Article

GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 186, PP. 25-42, 2009

Selective logging and its relation to deforestation

Gregory P. Asner

Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California, USA


Michael Keller


Marco Lentini

Instituto Floresta Tropical, Belém, Brazil


Frank Merry

Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA


Carlos Souza Jr.

Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia, Belém, Brazil


Selective logging is a major contributor to the social, economic, and ecological dynamics of Brazilian Amazonia. Logging activities have expanded from low-volume floodplain harvests in past centuries to high-volume operations today that take about 25 million m3 of wood from the forest each year. The most common highimpact conventional and often illegal logging practices result in major collateral forest damage, with cascading effects on ecosystem processes. Initial carbon losses and forest recovery rates following timber harvest are tightly linked to initial logging intensity, which drives changes in forest gap fraction, fragmentation, and the light environment. Other ecological processes affected by selective logging include nutrient cycling, hydrological function, and postharvest disturbance such as fire. This chapter synthesizes the ecological impacts of selective logging, in the context of the recent socioeconomic conditions throughout Brazilian Amazonia, as determined from field-based and remote sensing studies carried out during the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia program.

Citation: Asner, G. P., M. Keller, M. Lentini, F. Merry, and C. Souza Jr. (2009), Selective logging and its relation to deforestation, in Amazonia and Global Change, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 186, edited by M. Keller et al., pp. 25–42, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2008GM000723.

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