Ecosystems

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 0114–0128 | Cite as

Simulating the Long-term Response of Tropical Wet Forests to Fragmentation

  • Peter Köhler
  • Jérôme Chave
  • Bernard Riéra
  • Andreas Huth

Abstract

In the coming decades, a large fraction of the world's tropical forests will be fragmented into remnants surrounded by secondary vegetation, land-use areas, or roads. It is important to develop integrative tools to monitor the evolution of these fragmented ecosystems. We used the individual-oriented and process-based forest growth simulator FORMIND2.0 to investigate the spatial and temporal effects on standing biomass and functional diversity of various intensities and patterns of fragmentation within a forest landscape. The simulator was calibrated for an old-growth wet forest in French Guiana, South America. We found that the standing biomass of forest remnants was reduced significantly compared to a similar area of nonfragmented forest. When fewer but larger remnants were created rather than many small ones, the total loss in biomass and the increase in the abundance of early-successional species were significantly reduced, confirming that edge effects dominate the functioning of forest remnants. We also performed simulations of secondary succession after the landscape had been abandoned. The simulated recovery time in those secondary forests depends on both the size of cleared area and the spatial pattern of the remnant forests.

Key words: edge effects; fragmentation; French Guiana; forest growth model; tropical forest; secondary succession; spatially explicit simulation. 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Köhler
    • 1
  • Jérôme Chave
    • 2
  • Bernard Riéra
    • 3
  • Andreas Huth
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, Kurt-Wolters-Strasse 3, D-34109 Kassel, GermanyDE
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Guyot Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-1003, USAUS
  3. 3.Laboratoire d'Ecologie Générale, CNRS-MNHN, UMR 8571, 4 avenue du Petit Château, 91800 Brunoy, France; andFR
  4. 4.Center for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Department of Ecological Modeling, P.O. Box 500 136, D-04301 Leipzig, GermanyDE

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