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Consequences of silvicultural treatments on stand dynamics at Paracou

Gourlet-Fleury S., Favrichon V., Schmitt L., Petronelli P.. 2004. In : Gourlet-Fleury Sylvie (ed.), Guehl Jean-Marc (ed.), Laroussinie Olivier (ed.). Ecology and management of a neotropical rainforest : lessons drawn from Paracou, a long-term experimental research site in French Guiana. Paris : Elsevier, p. 254-280.

The different components of stand dynamics - growth, mortality and recruitment - were affected by silvicultural treatments of growing intensity applied in the Paracou plots, resulting in contrasted behaviours in the stands. We first present and discuss the evolution over time of the plots in terms of their total number of trees and basal area. We then examine the evolution of the diameter structures, the dynamic components and the basal area balance for the global set of species and for the marketable species, emphasising the differences between treatments. Estimates of the time required to return to a hypothetical initial state are made according to different methods. One of the conclusions is that a felling cycle of 50 years in stands identical to those logged-over at Paracou, could allow recovery of 80-90% of the initial number of valuable trees above the diameter cutting limit, but with a shift in the floristic composition. We discuss some practical consequences for forest managers of the results found at Paracou and comparisons are made with other known experimental designs such as CELOS in Suriname and Tapajos in Brazil.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale humide; régime sylvicole; dynamique des populations; abattage d'arbres; guyane française; france

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