Climbers and logging in the Forêt Classée du Haut-Sassandra, Côte-d’Ivoire

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Forest Ecology and Management


In this study we compare climber abundance and size in centres of post-logging skid tracks and log loading areas to their adjacent relatively undisturbed border zones, in a selectively logged forest in the west-centre of Côte d’Ivoire. We also evaluate the effect of time after logging (age) on these climber parameters. In 19 plots, 3 months to 17 years after logging we counted and measured climber individuals and shoots by species. Skid tracks and loading areas had similar abundance and size of climbers, only the densities of herbaceous species and of pioneer species were both higher in loading areas. Skid tracks had the same abundance and size of climbers as their adjacent border areas. Densities of long climbers (>3 m length), woody species and non-pioneer species were higher in the border areas, and densities of herbaceous species and pioneer species were lower, compared to centre areas. With the exception of density of long climbers (higher in the border areas), climber abundance and size in loading areas were similar to those in their adjacent border areas. Climber species richness in skid tracks decreased with time after logging. All other climber parameters studied were not correlated with time after logging. We conclude that despite the mechanical damage in logging related areas most climbers were not much affected, and that time since logging only affects climber species richness in skid tracks.