Tree Species Diversity in Commercially Logged Bornean Rainforest

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Science  28 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5381, pp. 1366-1368
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5381.1366

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The effects of commercial logging on tree diversity in tropical rainforest are largely unknown. In this study, selectively logged tropical rainforest in Indonesian Borneo is shown to contain high tree species richness, despite severe structural damage. Plots logged 8 years before sampling contained fewer species of trees greater than 20 centimeters in diameter than did similar-sized unlogged plots. However, in samples of the same numbers of trees (requiring a 50 percent larger area), logged forest contained as many tree species as unlogged forest. These findings warrant reassessment of the conservation potential of large tracts of commercially logged tropical rainforest.

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