Future crop tree damage in a certified community forest in southwestern Amazonia
Forest Ecology and Management
Field studies in Acre, Brazil assessed logging impacts of a certified community timber management project. The main objectives of the study were: (1) to determine if damage incidence to future crop trees (FCTs; â€šÃ¢â€¢20 cm diameter at breast height (dbh)) differs between (a) forest with and without bamboo (Guadua spp.), and (b) trees with and without lianas; (2) to what extent harvesting can be conducted more intensely (m3haâ€šÃ Ã1), without incurring greater FCT damage; and (3) to what extent marking diminishes FCT damage. Full inventories of FCTs of 50 commercial species complexes were conducted before and after logging in 50 m-radius zones of impact around each designated harvest tree in three 10 ha (200 m âˆšÃ³ 500 m) logging blocks. We also mapped all forested areas potentially influenced by logging, including skid trails, log landings and felling gaps, throughout the 30 ha logged. More than 28% of the forest area was disturbed by logging, with 12.1% in skid trails and 16.8% in gap clearings, indicating that the forest gap mosaic can be significantly altered even when reduced-impact logging guidelines are followed. Overall, 15% of FCTs inventoried were damaged. Damage rates were not significantly reduced by marking treatment, location in bamboo-dominated forest, or liana load on FCT damage. Harvest intensity did not influence the probability of FCT damage. For future studies, it would be prudent to address impacts of timber extraction on other livelihood activities, such as non-timber forest product collection, particularly in such regions as the Brazilian Amazon, where many communities are attempting to integrate a suite of income-generating activities.