Selective logging and its relation to deforestation

Gregory P. Asner, Michael Keller, Marco Lentini, Frank Merry, Carlos Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Selective logging is a major contributor to the social, economic, and ecological dynamics of Brazilian Amazonia. Logging activities have expanded from lowvolume floodplain harvests in past centuries to high-volume operations today that take about 25 million m3 of wood from the forest each year. The most common highimpact conventional and often illegal logging practices result in major collateral forest damage, with cascading effects on ecosystem processes. Initial carbon losses and forest recovery rates following timber harvest are tightly linked to initial logging intensity, which drives changes in forest gap fraction, fragmentation, and the light environment. Other ecological processes affected by selective logging include nutrient cycling, hydrological function, and postharvest disturbance such as fire. This chapter synthesizes the ecological impacts of selective logging, in the context of the recent socioeconomic conditions throughout Brazilian Amazonia, as determined from field-based and remote sensing studies carried out during the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalGeophysical Monograph Series
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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