Logging alters tropical forest structure, while conversion reduces biodiversity and functioning

C.J. Marsh, E.C. Turner, B.W. Blonder, B. Bongalov, S. Both, R.S. Cruz, D.M.O. Elias, D. Hemprich-Bennett, P. Jotan, V. Kemp, U.H. Kritzler, S. Milne, D.T. Milodowski, S.L. Mitchell, M.M. Pillco, M.H. Nunes, T. Riutta, S.J.B. Robinson, E.M. Slade, H. BernardD.F.R.P. Burslem, A.Y.C. Chung, E.L. Clare, D.A. Coomes, Z.G. Davies, D.P. Edwards, D. Johnson, P. Kratina, Y. Malhi, N. Majalap, R. Nilus, N.J. Ostle, S.J. Rossiter, M.J. Struebig, J.A. Tobias, M. Williams, R.M. Ewers, O.T. Lewis, G. Reynolds, Y.A. Teh, A. Hector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impacts of degradation and deforestation on tropical forests are poorly understood, particularly at landscape scales. We present the most extensive ecosystem analysis to date of the impacts of logging and conversion of tropical forest to oil palm from a large-scale study in Borneo, synthesizing responses from 82 variables categorized into four ecological ‘levels’: 1) structure and environment, 2) species traits, 3) biodiversity, and 4) ecosystem functions. Responses were highly heterogeneous. Variables that were directly impacted by the physical processes of timber extraction were sensitive to even moderate amounts of logging, whereas biodiversity and ecosystem functions proved resilient to logging in many cases, but were more affected by conversion to oil palm plantation.

One-Sentence Summary Logging tropical forest mostly impacts structure while biodiversity and functions are more vulnerable to habitat conversion
Original languageUndefined
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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