1 Tahrcountry Musings: Logged Rainforests Can be Made Productive with Imaginative Planning

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Logged Rainforests Can be Made Productive with Imaginative Planning

New research at the University of Leeds has found that Logged rainforests can support as much plant, animal and insect life as virgin forest within 15 years if properly managed.

The research compared biodiversity of birds in three adjoining areas of tropical forest in the north-east of Borneo. First site selected, a managed one, is the oldest and largest area of rehabilitated forest in the tropics which was logged around 20 years ago. The Second site is a naturally regenerating area of forest which was logged at the same time. The third is a conservation area of unlogged forest.

The researchers found that the number and range of species of birds in rehabilitated tropical forest recovered to levels very close to those found in unlogged forest after just 15 years. Forest that was left to regenerate naturally showed less diversity.

Because tropical forest trees soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide, restoring logged forest through planting new trees could also be used in carbon trading. The new research has shown that it is possible to have both carbon sequestration and biodiversity benefits within the same scheme

Details of the research appears in the latest issue of Conservation Biology

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