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Tropical rain forests with disturbed recruitment lose their stability - a simulation study

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Citation:
Huth, A. and Köhler, P. (2004): Tropical rain forests with disturbed recruitment lose their stability - a simulation study , Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation: GEOGRAPHIC AND CONCEPTUAL FRONTIERS OF TROPICAL BIOLOGY. Miami, Florida, USA, 12.-16.07.2004. .
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Abstract:

Continuing logging in the tropics is making the conservation of remaining forests increasingly difficult. Furthermore, there are increasing evidences that recruitment of trees might be endangered through events such as climate change, enhanced seed predation or fragmentation. In this study we assess various impacts of tree harvesting in a Dipterocarp lowland rain forest in Sabah, Malaysia, already threatened by recruitment shortage. The results of the simulations of 56 different scenarios using the process-based forest growth model Formind2.0 were assessed. Formind2.0 is based on the calculations of the carbon balance of individual trees belonging to 13 different plant functional types. Desturbed recruitment leads to shifts in the abundances of species, to species loss, and to forest decline and dieback depending on the level of recruitment shortage. Forests under recruitment shortage lose their stability, additional disturbances like logging cause permanent and severe changes in tree species composition.

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