Info

lective cutting and what trees to leave behind as seed sources for the next generations, managers should know the ecology and reproductive biology of the species they are removing. Usually such information is not available (Bawa and Krugman 1991). Forest management is discussed in detail in Chapter 5.

The situation in the Amazon region illustrates the problem with saving a valuable tree species when individuals of that species are widely scattered in a high-diversity forest. Many tree species in Amazonian forests will not bring in enough money for loggers to bother with them. Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), however, brings such an extraordinary price that loggers find it worthwhile to bulldoze through miles of low-value hardwoods to locate one mahogany (Castellanet and Jordan 2002). The opening of logging roads or even just skid trails can be extremely destructive and disturbs far more than just the trail and the tree cut. The roads make it easy for land-hungry peasants, ranchers, and land speculators to enter the region. Once the land is cleared, repeated fires and other disturbances make recovery of a forest community extremely unlikely. Even if a secondary forest does become established, many species of primary forest will be absent, because there are few or no parent trees or animals to disperse seeds (Nepstad et al. 1990).

However, there are other ways to take economic advantage of forests so as to benefit the local population while at the same time preserving rare and valuable species. For example, Chapter 5 discusses more technical forestry approaches, such as reduced-impact logging, and in Chapter 6, we discuss community forestry.

0 0

Post a comment