This study examined differences in stand structure, tree species richness, and tree species diversity in relation to population density in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia. Tree data were obtained from a 1997 forest inventory involving 60 clusters (540 plots) systematically distributed over 30% of the provincial forest area. Spatially referenced population data were obtained from the 1998 national population census. The average number of trees per cluster was 356/ha, the average basal area, 23 m2/ha, the average stand volume, 217 m3/ha, and the average aboveground biomass, 273 Mg/ha for all trees of DBH 10 cm and larger. The average species richness per cluster was 37 species, while average species diversity was measured as 0.916 using Simpson’s index and 2.98 by Shannon’s index. Significant negative correlations were generally found between population density surrounding clusters and tree density, basal area, stand volume, aboveground biomass, and species richness and diversity for three examined diameter classes (DBH of 10–30, ≥30, and ≥10 cm). As the distance from clusters for calculating population density increased, the correlation levels increased up to 5 or 7 km, depending on the variables and diameter class, and then stayed relatively constant for stand structure variables and decreased for species richness and diversity. The results indicate that evidence of disturbance was more pronounced at higher population density up to around 5 to 7 km. We suggest that introduction of greater controls on human disturbance should be a high priority for resource management and conservation in Kampong Thom Province and, presumably, Cambodia as a whole.
Aboveground biomass Basal area Species diversity Stand volume Tree density Tropical forests
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We are grateful to the Forestry Administration of Cambodia for providing the data and general assistance for this study. We also extend our appreciation to Mr. Samreth Vanna and Mr. Pith Phearak (Forest Research Institute of the Forestry Administration) for their assistance in verifying the species list. This study was partially funded through a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (No. 15405024) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
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