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Modelling weed and vine disturbance in tropical forests after selective logging and clearcutting

Roberto Cazzolla Gatti

Ecological Modelling, 2018, vol. 375, issue C, 13-19

Abstract: Although tropical rainforests preserve high levels of biodiversity, they are among the most threatened ecosystems globally due to large-scale fragmentation as a result of anthropogenic activities. Overall, fast human-driven habitat destruction is suspected to be one of the major causes of species extinction. The mosaic of vegetation types, which contributes to the incredible diversity of the tropics is highly impacted by large-scale fragmentation. The main causes of such habitat fragmentation are selective logging for valuable timber and agricultural clearance. The knowledge of the short and long-term effects of removing selected species in the tropical rainforests are scarce and need to be further investigated. Some studies about the effects of tropical forest disturbance in the short term have been conducted, but in the long term, there is limited knowledge. In this paper, I consider a system of coupled ordinary differential equations (ODEs) that modelled the dynamics of tropical rainforest subject to selective logging to understand how and why weeds and vine displace and limit tree species. From the empirical data collected on canopy height and plant diversity and the model proposed, I have the evidence of a decreasing tree diversity in tropical forests subject to management in comparison with to the same but untouched forests.

Keywords: Forest gaps; Dynamics; Weed; Vines; Disturbance; Logging (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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