Thinning after selective logging facilitates floristic composition recovery in a tropical rain forest of Central Africa : Method, insights and perspectives

Ouédraogo Dakis-Yaoba, Beina Denis, Picard Nicolas, Mortier Frédéric, Baya Fidèle, Gourlet-Fleury Sylvie. 2011. Thinning after selective logging facilitates floristic composition recovery in a tropical rain forest of Central Africa : Method, insights and perspectives. Forest Ecology and Management, 262 (12) : pp. 2176-2186.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : FORESTRY

Abstract : In the Congo Basin where most timber species are light-demanding, the low logging intensities commonly implemented (1-2 trees harvested ha?1) do not provide sufficient canopy gaps to ensure species regeneration. The regeneration of light-demanding timber species may therefore benefit from more intensive logging, or from post-harvest treatments such as thinning by poison girdling that increases light penetration. Little is known of the impact of post-harvest treatments on the floristic composition of tropical moist forests. This study therefore aimed to assess the effects of low and high selective logging (?2.33 and 4.73 trees harvested ha?1, and ?4.96 and 9.16 m2 ha?1 of basal area removed (logging + damage), respectively) - followed or not by thinning (?21.14 trees thinned ha?1, and ?6.57 m2 ha?1 of basal area removed) - on the floristic composition of a tropical moist forest in the Central African Republic, from 7 to 23 years after logging. We analyzed abundance data for 110 tree genera recorded every year for 14 years in 25 one-hectare permanent subplots. We used multivariate analysis to detect floristic variations between treatments and we assessed changes in floristic composition throughout the period. We compared floristic composition recovery between thinned and unthinned subplots, using unlogged subplots as a reference characterizing the pre-logging floristic composition. Logging and thinning had little impact on the floristic composition of the subplots as quantified 7 to 23 years later, though they did increase the proportion of pioneer species. Surprisingly, additional thinning at both logging levels failed to further distance floristic composition from that of the unlogged subplots, though it did increase disturbance intensity. Floristic composition recovery appeared to be facilitated when thinning was associated with logging. Thinning seemed to favor the growth and survival of non-pioneer species, to the detriment of pioneer species. These non-pioneer species could either be non-pioneer light demanders or shade-bearers. One explanation for this is that thinning by tree-poison girdling increased light availability without causing major damage to the forest, and thus increased the growth and survival of advance regeneration. The resulting enhanced competition then reduced the survival of pioneer species. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Forêt tropicale humide, Abattage d'arbres, Composition botanique, Inventaire forestier, Écologie forestière, Évaluation de l'impact

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Fleuve Congo, République centrafricaine

Mots-clés complémentaires : Éclaircie forestière

Classification Agris : K10 - Forestry production
F40 - Plant ecology
F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2005-2013) - Agriculture, environnement, nature et sociétés

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Ouédraogo Dakis-Yaoba, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA)
  • Beina Denis, Université de Bangui (CAF)
  • Picard Nicolas, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (GAB)
  • Mortier Frédéric, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA)
  • Baya Fidèle, Ministère des eaux et forêts, chasses, pêches et tourisme (République centrafricaine) (CAF)
  • Gourlet-Fleury Sylvie, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-1136-4307

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