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Towards better estimates of carbon stocks in Bornean logged-over Dipterocarp forests

Rozak A.H.. 2018. Montpellier : AgroParisTech; University of Copenhagen, 181 p.. Thèse de doctorat -- Ecologie, évolution, ressources génétique, paléobiologie.

Tropical forests are a major reservoir of biodiversity and carbon (C), playing a pivotal role in global ecosystem function and climate regulation. However, most of the tropical forests, especially Bornean forests in Southeast Asia, are under intense pressure and threatened by anthropogenic activities such as logging, mining industry, agriculture and conversion to industrial plantation. In 2010, the area of production forests in Borneo was 26.8 million ha (approx. 36% of the total land area of Borneo) including 18 million ha (approx. 24%) of logged forests. Production forests are thus emerging as a dominant land-use, playing a crucial role in trading-off provision of goods and maintenance of ecosystem services, such as C and biodiversity retention. Selective logging is known to reduce both above- and below-ground biomass through the removal of a few large trees, while increasing deadwood stocks through collateral damages. By creating large gaps in the canopy, microclimates in the understory and on the forest floor change locally speeding up the decomposition of litter and organic matter. The extent of incidental damages, canopy openness, as well as the speed of C recovery, was shown to be primarily related to logging intensity. However, empirical evaluations of the long-term effect of logging intensity on C balance in production forests remain rare. The present thesis aims to assess the long-term effect of logging intensity on C sequestration in a north Bornean Dipterocarp forests (Malinau District, North Kalimantan) logged in 1999/2000. Five main C pools, namely above-ground (AGC) and below-ground (BGC) carbon in living trees, deadwood, litter, and soil organic carbon (SOC) were estimated along a logging intensity gradient (ranging from 0 to 57% of initial biomass removed). Our result showed that total C stocks 16 years after logging, ranged from 218-554 Mg C ha-1 with an average of 314 Mg C ha-1. A difference of 95 Mg C ha-1 was found between low logging intensity (<2.1% of initial biomass lost) and high logging intensity (>19%). Most C (approx. 77%) was found in living trees, followed by soil (15%), deadwood (6%), and a minor fraction in litter (1%). The imprint of logging intensity was still detectable 16 years after logging, and logging intensity thus was the main driver explaining the reduction of AGC>20, BGC>20, deadwood, and total C stocks and an increase in deadwood. Solely, logging intensity explained 61%, 63%, 38%, and 48% of variations of AGC>20, BGC>20, deadwood, and total C stocks, respectively. Logging intensity also significantly reduced SOC stocks in the upper 30 cm layer. For total SOC stocks (0-100 cm), the negative influence of logging intensity was still perceptible, being significant in conjunction with other variables. Our results quantify the long-term effect of logging on forest C stocks, especially on AGC and deadwood. High logging intensity (50% reduction of initial biomass) reduced total C stocks by 27%. AGC recovery was lower in high logging intensity plots, suggesting lowered forest resilience to logging. Our study showed that maintaining logging intensity, below 20% of the initial biomass, limit the long-term effect of logging on AGC and deadwood stocks....

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale humide; dipterocarpaceae; exploitation forestière; biomasse aérienne des arbres; bois mort; matière organique du sol; bornéo; carbone organique du sol

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