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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reduced impact logging minimally alters tropical rainforest carbon and energy exchange


We used eddy covariance and ecological measurements to investigate the effects of reduced impact logging (RIL) on an old-growth Amazonian forest. Logging caused small decreases in gross primary production, leaf production, and latent heat flux, which were roughly proportional to canopy loss, and increases in heterotrophic respiration, tree mortality, and wood production. The net effect of RIL was transient, and treatment effects were barely discernable after only 1 y. RIL appears to provide a strategy for managing tropical forest that minimizes the potential risks to climate associated with large changes in carbon and water exchange.                            

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