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Reduced Impact Logging in the Tropical Rain Forest of Guyana: Ecological, Economic and Silvicultural Consequences.

Publication

Authors: Hout, P. van der

Guyana - 1999

ISBN: 90-393-2185-X

ISSN: 1566-6506

Language: English

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This publication is the result of a study comparing conventional and improved logging at different logging intensities in Greenheart forest in Guyana. Logging in Guyana differs little from logging elsewhere in the tropics. The State owns most forest land and concessions are given out to timber companies that log the forest, often in an unplanned manner and without much care or respect for the remaining stand or future yields. In general, logging intensities are low in Guyana, but in the Greenheart forests, high yields are obtained because harvestable stems tend to occur in monodominant patches. Consequently, large gaps are formed in the canopy. Skidder movements near the stumps destroy commercial regeneration that survived felling and compact the soil, further affecting forest recovery. A reduced impact logging system was designed to address these environmental problems. The study showed that conventional logging practices in Greenheart forest in Guyana is not likely to be sustainable. Reduced impact logging was successful in reducing skidding damage with 65% (disturbed ground area) and in reducing the average size of felling gaps by 40%.

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