EFFECTS OF SELECTIVE LOGGING ON TREE SPECIES COMPOSITION, RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY IN A HILL DIPTEROCARP FOREST IN MALAYSIA
Keywords:Before and after logging, Shannon index, Fisher’s alpha diversity index, Sorensen’s similarity index, rare, endemic
SAIFUL I & LATIFF A. 2014. Effects of selective logging on tree species composition, richness and diversity in a hill dipterocarp forest in Malaysia. A systematic sampling along a gradient-directed transect was conducted in a primary hill dipterocarp rainforest in Peninsular Malaysia to study the effects of selective logging on tree species composition, richness and diversity. The area was surveyed for more than one year before it was logged. Six months to one year after logging, resurveying of the same plots was done. The extraction of 27 trees per hectare affected all diameter classes. Of the 47.0% of total injury, 40.1% of stems were totally destroyed and dead. Species richness and diversity showed significant variation from the original levels. A percentage of 24.1% of the total tree species were recorded lost from the study site in the first cut that encompassed only rare tree species and commercial timber trees. About 50% of the residual species were under very rare category with single stem. Logging also altered the species composition and species accumulation curve of all tree size classes. To arrest the loss of biodiversity, this study strongly suggests integration of biodiversity survey with the existing management system as well as careful planning and execution of improved logging practices.