Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 2447–2463 | Cite as

Dynamics of Tree Diversity in Undisturbed and Logged Subtropical Rainforest in Australia

  • R. Geoff B. Smith
  • J. Doland Nichols
  • Jerome K. Vanclay


In subtropical rainforest in eastern Australia, changes in the diversity of trees were compared under natural conditions and eight silvicultural regimes over 35 years. In the treated plots basal area remaining after logging ranged from 12 to 58 m^{2}/ha. In three control plots richness differed little over this period. In the eight treated plots richness per plot generally declined after intervention and then gradually increased to greater than original diversity. After logging there was a reduction in richness per plot and an increase in species richness per stem in all but the lightest selective treatments. The change in species diversity was related to the intensity of the logging, however the time taken for species richness to return to pre-logging levels was similar in all silvicultural treatments and was not effected by the intensity of treatment. These results suggest that light selective logging in these forests mainly affects dominant species. The return to high diversity after only a short time under all silvicultural regimes suggests that sustainability and the manipulation of species composition for desired management outcomes is possible.


Australia Disturbance Logging Rainforest Silviculture Species richness Subtropical Tropical 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Geoff B. Smith
    • 1
  • J. Doland Nichols
    • 2
  • Jerome K. Vanclay
    • 2
  1. 1.State Forests of New South Wales, Research and Development DivisionCoffs HarbourAustralia
  2. 2.Forestry Program, Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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