Towards sustainable management of mixed dipterocarp forests of South-east Asia : moving beyon minimum diameter cutting limits

Sist Plinio, Fimbel Robert, Sheil Douglas, Nasi Robert, Chevallier Marie-Hélène. 2003. Towards sustainable management of mixed dipterocarp forests of South-east Asia : moving beyon minimum diameter cutting limits. Environmental Conservation, 30 (4) : pp. 364-374.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Selective logging applied in tropical forests is based on one universal criterion: a minimum diameter cutting limit for all commercial timber species. Minimum diameter cutting limits in mixed dipterocarp forests of the Malesia region lead to high felling intensities (10-20+ trees ha-1). Such extraction rates create massive stand damage (>50% of the remaining tree population), which has a negative impact on the regeneration and growth of many harvested dipterocarp species. As such, the minimum diameter cutting limit approach is seldom compatible with sustainable forest management. Where basic ecological characteristics of the commercial species are considered in timber harvesting prescriptions, mixed dipterocarp forests appear capable of sustained timber yields, habitat conservation, and providing other goods and services. This paper first presents the main silvicultural systems developed in mixed dipterocarp forests of Western Malesia and then reviews current knowledge of dipterocarp biology to finally develop guidelines aimed at improving the ecological sustainability of production forests of Western Malesia. These guide-lines, a pragmatic reflection of science and 'best guess' judgement, include: (1) integration of reduced-impact logging practices into normal management operations; (2) cutting of eight trees ha-1 or less (with a felling cycle of 40-60 years to be determined according to local conditions); (3) defining minimum diameter cutting limits according to the structure, density and diameter at reproduction of target species; (4) avoiding harvesting species with less than one adult tree ha-1 (diameter at breast height [dbh] > 50 cm over an area of 50-100 ha); (5) minimizing the size and connectivity of gaps (<600m2 whenever possible); (6) refraining from treatments such as understorey clearing; and (7) providing explicit protection for key forest species and the ecological processes they perform. Further refinement is encouraged to allow for local conditions, and for other forest types. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Développement forestier, Durabilité, Dipterocarpaceae, Gestion des ressources

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Asie du Sud-Est

Mots-clés complémentaires : Diamètre d'exploitabilité

Classification Agris : K10 - Forestry production
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Fimbel Robert, Washington State Parks (USA)
  • Sheil Douglas, CIFOR (IDN)
  • Nasi Robert, CIFOR (IDN)
  • Chevallier Marie-Hélène, CIRAD-FORET-FORETS NATURELLES (FRA)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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