Impacts of forest management on tree species richness and composition:Assessment of forest management regimes in Tarai landscape Nepal

Poudyal, Bishnu Hari and Maraseni, Tek Narayan and Cockfield, Geoff (2019) Impacts of forest management on tree species richness and composition:Assessment of forest management regimes in Tarai landscape Nepal. Applied Geography, 111 (Article 102078). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0143-6228

Abstract

The role of natural (non-plantation) production forests is increasingly recognized in conservation of forest biodiversity globally. Government and other forest stakeholders in Nepal are, however, still reluctant to promote active management of production forests for fear of negative impacts on forest biodiversity. Moreover, Nepal's government is converting production forests into protected areas thus restricting the area available for multiple uses. To assess the implications of forest management practices on forest biodiversity at landscape level, we compared the richness and composition of tree species among regularly harvested community forests, irregularly harvested community forests, protected area and national forests in sub-tropical forested landscape of Nepal using tree species inventory and assessment of key environmental variables. Results showed that regularly harvested community forests could be effective in supporting tree species richness and composition compared to other management regimes. Results supported the hypothesis that high forest disturbance and no disturbance do not support tree species diversity and composition. In addition, this study found that regularly managed community forests also protect ecologically important and vulnerable tree species. Some possible explanations for the better performance of these community forests could be tenure security, frequency and regularity of silvicultural operations and sensitivity of forest users to the ecological aspects of forest management. Our study reaffirmed the need for active forest management at the local level to contribute to global conservation initiatives such as sustainable forest management, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) and biodiversity conservation. Better compliance with forest management plans and capacity development of local forestry stakeholders in forest management operations are suggested for managing forests outside protected areas that is, in national and community forests.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 04:17
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 02:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable forest management; forest biodiversity; forest harvesting; intermediate disturbance hypothesis; species composition; importance value index; REDD+
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2019.102078
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36974

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