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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Amici, Autumn [1], James, Shelley [2], Ranker, Tom [3].

Impacts of logging on primary forests of Siboma Village in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.

In a world of changing climate, the relationship between species richness, community composition, and anthropogenic landscape change has become an increasingly critical concern for conservation and management. In tropical regions species diversity is very high and pressure for development is equally as high, as the global human population continues to rise. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is an area of critical concern for conservation, having high rates of endemism and biodiversity due to its geologic history, proximity to the equator, and an assortment of ecosystem types. Lowland forests of PNG are becoming increasingly threatened by logging operations. Few studies have examined the long-term impacts of logging in the tropics, especially in the primary forests of PNG,which is considered "one of the last great unknowns". The goal of this project was to assess the long-term impacts of logging on plant diversity. This study assessed generic richness,diversity, basal area, and canopy cover of trees in a forest that had been logged about 60 years ago compared to those of a virgin (primary) old-growth forest in the coastal lowland rainforests in the Siboma Village, Morobe Province. In each forest type, we surveyed ten 10x50m plots. Student's t-tests,non-parametric Wilcoxon rank sum tests, and non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations were used to compare the two sites for the characters listed. The generic diversity, average diameter at breast height, basal area, and canopy density all differed significantly between sites with the primary forest showing a significantly greater diversity, average dbh size, average basal area, and percent canopy cover. Our results suggest that, at least after about 60 years, the logged forest had not recovered to primary forest conditions. The practical implications of these results may be that 1) a longer interval than 60 years is required for a more complete recovery of the forest and 2) more selective harvesting techniques for future logging operations in these forest types might better preserve long-term diversity.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Hawaii Manoa, Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
2 - BISHOP MUSEUM, 1525 BERNICE ST, Honolulu, HI, 96817, USA
3 - University of Hawaii At Manoa, Department of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 10
Location: Ascot/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 10001
Abstract ID:81
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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