The Ecological Consequences of Logging in the Burned Forests of East Kalimantan, Indonesia

The Ecological Consequences of Logging in the Burned Forests of East Kalimantan, Indonesia Introduction In 1997–1998 over 50,000 km 2 of East Kalimantan burned, affecting some 23,000 km 2 of natural forest concessions. This is nearly one‐quarter (24%) of the area of all natural forest concessions in the province ( Hoffmann et al. 1999 ). The biomass of the trees living at the time of the burn was little reduced by the fire, which tended to be restricted to the litter and understory, and although many trees died, most stems remained standing. These dead stems in the burned forest represent a significant timber resource. A government regulation was issued ( Directorate of Forest Utilization 1999 ) indicating that in concessions where fires had occurred, “salvage felling”—harvesting of the remnant commercial dead timber by conventional methods—should precede any continuation of regular harvesting operations in unburned forest areas. The reason for this regulation was that the dead stems could still provide valuable timber if removed before serious deterioration occurred ( Ulbricht et al. 1999 ). It was apparently assumed that such salvage activities would have little additional effect on the already degraded forest. There are good reasons, however, to be concerned about the ecological effects of salvage felling after fire. Forest areas can http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

The Ecological Consequences of Logging in the Burned Forests of East Kalimantan, Indonesia

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1523-1739.2001.0150041183.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction In 1997–1998 over 50,000 km 2 of East Kalimantan burned, affecting some 23,000 km 2 of natural forest concessions. This is nearly one‐quarter (24%) of the area of all natural forest concessions in the province ( Hoffmann et al. 1999 ). The biomass of the trees living at the time of the burn was little reduced by the fire, which tended to be restricted to the litter and understory, and although many trees died, most stems remained standing. These dead stems in the burned forest represent a significant timber resource. A government regulation was issued ( Directorate of Forest Utilization 1999 ) indicating that in concessions where fires had occurred, “salvage felling”—harvesting of the remnant commercial dead timber by conventional methods—should precede any continuation of regular harvesting operations in unburned forest areas. The reason for this regulation was that the dead stems could still provide valuable timber if removed before serious deterioration occurred ( Ulbricht et al. 1999 ). It was apparently assumed that such salvage activities would have little additional effect on the already degraded forest. There are good reasons, however, to be concerned about the ecological effects of salvage felling after fire. Forest areas can

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Aug 3, 2001

References

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