Pioneer and climax tree regeneration following selective logging with silviculture in Suriname

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Forest Ecology and Management


In the tropical rain forest of Suriname the occurrence of eight test species, four pioneer and four climax species, was analyzed in a silvicultural field experiment about 20 years old, in three replications of treated forest plots in which 15, 23 and 46 m(3) had been extracted. Extraction levels 23 and 46 m(3) had been followed immediately by a light or heavy refinement. Actual research was done in the replicated plots of the experiment as well as in primary forest. All measurements were made in the vegetation layer of 3-10 m. In addition to this, total tree density, forest class (a classification used as disturbance indicator) and palm and liana density were measured. Effects of the extraction and silviculture are still visible after 20 years, but all values of the measurements taken in the present research fall within the same range as that of virgin forest. Climax species are more abundant than pioneers throughout the entire experiment, regardless of treatment. Palm and liana densities, however, show contrasting effects to the severity of treatments in the three replications. It is indicated that natural heterogeneity and the forest's resilience to disturbance are greater than the treatment effects measured in this investigation 20 years later. Conclusion is that the tropical rain forest in Suriname, when treated with the Celos Silvicultural System, does not tend to regress to a more secondary forest as the original primary rain forest structure, composition and dynamics are largely maintained. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.