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Ecological Impacts of Selective Logging in the Brazilian Amazon: A Case Study from the Paragominas Region of the State of Para

Christopher Uhl and Ima Celia Guimaraes Vieira
Biotropica
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 98-106
DOI: 10.2307/2388700
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388700
Page Count: 9
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Ecological Impacts of Selective Logging in the Brazilian Amazon: A Case Study from the Paragominas Region of the State of Para
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Abstract

Amazon logging has been traditionally restricted to floodplain forests, but the Amazon highway system now permits the logging of the interfluvial forest. In an assessment of a mechanized, selective logging operation in Para state, eastern Amazonia, 30-50 m$^3$ of wood volume were removed per ha. This amounted to four to eight trees per ha, or one to two percent of all tree stems $\geq$ 10 cm dbh. The profits were considerable (the land owner made 9000 in the logging of 52 ha over a 21-day period); but in the process of extraction, 26 percent of all the pre-harvest trees $\geq$ 10 cm dbh were killed or damaged (e.g., 12% lost their crowns, 11% were uprooted by bulldozers, and 3% suffered substantial bark scarring). Total canopy cover was reduced by almost one-half (from 80$% to 45%) and 8% of the forest area was scarred by logging roads. If logging continues at its present rate, all of Para state could easily be logged within the next 80 years. Strategies to promote the responsible use of Para's forest do exist; all that is lacking is the political will to bring them to life.

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