New Biotropica paper
Evidence of Tree Height Reduction After Logging
Biotropica publishes today a long-term assessment of tree height evolution in the disturbed plots of Paracou. By harvesting scattered large trees, the 30 years-old selective logging has increased light availability and has thereby stimulated growth and crown expansion at early-life stage among remnant trees. The effects of logging on total and merchantable bole (i.e., lowest branch at crown base) heights has been assessed on 952 tropical canopy trees. Reductions in both total (mean, −2.3 m) and bole (mean, −2.0 m) heights have been observed in Paracou more than a decade after selective logging. Depending on local logging intensity, height reductions resulted in 2–13 percent decreases in aboveground tree biomass and 3–17 percent decreases in bole volume. These results highlight the adverse effects of logging at both tree and stand levels. This decrease in height is a further threat to future provision of key environmental services, such as timber production and carbon sequestration.