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Journal Article

Sustainable Timber Harvesting in Venezuela: A Modelling Approach

Ludwig Kammesheidt, Peter Köhler and Andreas Huth
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Aug., 2001), pp. 756-770
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/827316
Page Count: 15
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Sustainable Timber Harvesting in Venezuela: A Modelling Approach
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Abstract

1. Reliable data on the growth and yield of logged-over forest, to determine sustainable cutting cycles, are widely missing for the tropics. 2. We used the process-based model FORMIND2.0 to analyse the growth and yield of logged-over forest in Venezuela under different logging scenarios over a period of 240 years, and compared results with unlogged stands. The performance of the model was evaluated with a detailed stability and sensitivity analysis. 3. In the absence of further logging, the logged-over stand approached the stand structure of mature forest in terms of bole volume and basal area after about 50-100 years. 4. Thirty-year cutting cycles with conventional logging methods and net extraction volumes of 45 and 60 m3 ha-1 cycle-1 did not provide sustainable yields under either of two minimum felling diameters (35 and 50 cm) that were applied. Only the 60-year cutting cycle provided sustainable yields under conventional and reduced-impact logging, with the different minimum felling diameters and a range of net volumes extracted (30-60 m3 ha-1 cycle-1). 5. With the longest cutting cycle (60 years), bole volume recovered to levels similar to the mature unlogged stand, but the species composition was very different. 6. Scenarios with reduced-impact logging provided a significantly higher timber volume than under conventional logging. The conservation of forest resources will only be possible with long cutting cycles (at least 60 years) in combination with reduced-impact logging.

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Part of Sustainability