The high value of logged tropical forests

Lessons from northern Borneo

Nicholas J. Berry, Oliver L. Phillips, Simon L. Lewis, Jane K. Hill, David P. Edwards, Noel B. Tawatao, Norhayati Ahmad, David Magintan, Chey V. Khen, M. Maryati, Robert C. Ong, Keith C. Hamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The carbon storage and conservation value of old-growth tropical forests is clear, but the value of logged forest is less certain. Here we analyse >100,000 observations of individuals from 11 taxonomic groups and >2,500 species, covering up to 19 years of post-logging regeneration, and quantify the impacts of logging on carbon storage and biodiversity within lowland dipterocarp forests of Sabah, Borneo. We estimate that forests lost ca. 53% of above-ground biomass as a result of logging but despite this high level of degradation, logged forest retained considerable conservation value: floral species richness was higher in logged forest than in primary forest and whilst faunal species richness was typically lower in logged forest, in most cases the difference between habitats was no greater than ca. 10%. Moreover, in most studies >90% of species recorded in primary forest were also present in logged forest, including species of conservation concern. During recovery, logged forest accumulated carbon at five times the rate of natural forest (1.4 and 0.28 Mg C ha-1 year-1, respectively). We conclude that allowing the continued regeneration of extensive areas of Borneo's forest that have already been logged, and are at risk of conversion to other land uses, would provide a significant carbon store that is likely to increase over time. Protecting intact forest is critical for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, but the contribution of logged forest to these twin goals should not be overlooked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-997
Number of pages13
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Borneo
tropical forests
tropical forest
logging
primary forests
carbon sequestration
regeneration
species richness
biodiversity
species diversity
Dipterocarpaceae
old-growth forest
carbon
aboveground biomass
old-growth forests
carbon sinks
lowlands
land use
climate change
degradation

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Clean development mechanism
  • REDD
  • Tropical forestry
  • UNFCCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Berry, N. J., Phillips, O. L., Lewis, S. L., Hill, J. K., Edwards, D. P., Tawatao, N. B., ... Hamer, K. C. (2010). The high value of logged tropical forests: Lessons from northern Borneo. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19(4), 985-997. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-010-9779-z

The high value of logged tropical forests : Lessons from northern Borneo. / Berry, Nicholas J.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Lewis, Simon L.; Hill, Jane K.; Edwards, David P.; Tawatao, Noel B.; Ahmad, Norhayati; Magintan, David; Khen, Chey V.; Maryati, M.; Ong, Robert C.; Hamer, Keith C.

In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2010, p. 985-997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Berry, NJ, Phillips, OL, Lewis, SL, Hill, JK, Edwards, DP, Tawatao, NB, Ahmad, N, Magintan, D, Khen, CV, Maryati, M, Ong, RC & Hamer, KC 2010, 'The high value of logged tropical forests: Lessons from northern Borneo', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 985-997. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-010-9779-z
Berry NJ, Phillips OL, Lewis SL, Hill JK, Edwards DP, Tawatao NB et al. The high value of logged tropical forests: Lessons from northern Borneo. Biodiversity and Conservation. 2010;19(4):985-997. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-010-9779-z
Berry, Nicholas J. ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Lewis, Simon L. ; Hill, Jane K. ; Edwards, David P. ; Tawatao, Noel B. ; Ahmad, Norhayati ; Magintan, David ; Khen, Chey V. ; Maryati, M. ; Ong, Robert C. ; Hamer, Keith C. / The high value of logged tropical forests : Lessons from northern Borneo. In: Biodiversity and Conservation. 2010 ; Vol. 19, No. 4. pp. 985-997.
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