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Ecology and management of a neotropical rainforest : lessons drawn from Paracou, a long-term experimental research site in French Guiana

Gourlet-Fleury S. (ed.), Guehl J.M. (ed.), Laroussinie O. (ed.). 2004. Paris : Elsevier, 336 p..

In 1982, the Silvicultural research on the natural forest stands of French Guiana operation was initiated, and since then, the Paracou experimental site has been a favourite place for basic ecological research concerning the structure, dynamics, diversity and functioning of the lowland rainforest of coastal French Guiana. The site offers more than 100 hectares of plots where trees are fully mapped, and an experimental design combining logging and thinning with undisturbed controls, allowing assessment of the impact of well-documented disturbances on the characteristics of various forest stands and tree populations. In this book, 40 authors summarise their experience and results at Paracou. Topics include (i) forest structure and floristic composition; (ii) ecosystem-level carbon dynamics; (iii) light requirements, patterns of water use and root symbiotic status of the main species; (iv) gene flow and genetic diversity; (v) regeneration strategies, growth behaviour and dynamics of stands before and after sylvicultural operations; (vi) modelling of forest dynamics. A final chapter discusses the practical lessons for forest management that have resulted from research operations at Paracou.

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