Maintaining ecosystem function and services in logged tropical forests

David P. Edwards*, Joseph A. Tobias, Douglas Sheil, Erik Meijaard, William F. Laurance

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Vast expanses of tropical forests worldwide are being impacted by selective logging. We evaluate the environmental impacts of such logging and conclude that natural timber-production forests typically retain most of their biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, as well as their carbon, climatic, and soil-hydrological ecosystem services. Unfortunately, the value of production forests is often overlooked, leaving them vulnerable to further degradation including post-logging clearing, fires, and hunting. Because logged tropical forests are extensive, functionally diverse, and provide many ecosystem services, efforts to expand their role in conservation strategies are urgently needed. Key priorities include improving harvest practices to reduce negative impacts on ecosystem functions and services, and preventing the rapid conversion and loss of logged forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-520
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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