Nutrient Cycling in Pristine and Logged Tropical Rain Forest. A Study in Guyana


Authors: Brouwer, L.C.

Guyana - 1996

ISBN: 90-6266-137-8

ISSN: 1566-6506

Language: English

This PhD thesis resulting from research in the Tropenbos-Guyana programme addresses the question of whether the nutrient cycle imposes restrictions on sustainable logging practices or logging intensity in Central Guyana's rain forests. It aims to quantify this restriction and to identify the limiting nutrients. Furthermore, it was investigated what conditions specifically lead to leaching and what measures can be taken to decrease leaching. As no data were available on the nutrient cycle in Guyanese rain forests, the study also makes a quantitative assessment of the nutrient cycle in pristine rain forest on sandy soils. The study demonstrates that logging causes serious nutrient losses but that, from the viewpoint of nutrients, sustainable timber extraction is feasible. To that end, the size of created gaps is to be limited to 200-500 m2, all unnecessary skidder movements have to be avoided and, on average, no more than 1 m3 timber must be harvested per hectare per year. The publication contains a chapter with easily accessible conclusions and recommendations for forest managers.

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