Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The spatial distribution of illegal logging in the Anavilhanas archipelago (Central Amazonia) and logging impacts on species


Amazonia is one of the world's leading suppliers of timber and the Amazonian timber industry is an important source of regional income, however the economic benefits of this market are associated with environmental damage, mainly when the wood is removed illegally. The Anavilhanas National Park, located in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, has been subjected to illegal logging and elaboration of control programmes requires knowledge of the distribution of timber species and the intensity of logging. This study examines the density and growth rate of the five most harvested tree species in the Park, the spatial distribution of illegal logging operations and their effects on population structure. In total, 2332 trees with diameter at breast height greater than 10 cm, as well as stumps of cut trees, were sampled, and dendrochronology was used to estimate growth rates. Some size classes of Virola surinamensis trees and species within the family Lauraceae decreased in abundance as harvesting intensity increased. Growth rates of the most abundant species of Lauraceae, Ocotea cymbarum, were high, indicating stands may recover quickly when harvesting stops. The population structure of Calophyllum brasiliense showed no negative effects due to logging, but its low growth rate and stand distribution suggest that continued exploitation may endanger these populations. Logging had no detectable negative effects on the size structure of populations of Macrolobium acaciifolium or Hevea spp., and their high growth rates suggest that they will not be threatened by current logging rates. Overall growth rates in the Anavilhanas archipelago are higher than those recorded in other black-water floodplain forest (igapó). Logging of most species (except Lauraceae spp., which have the highest market value) is concentrated in the southern region of the Park, which has more human settlements close by. There was no general relationship between harvesting intensity and geographic distance to human settlements, but there was a tendency for harvesting to be higher in sites with concentrations of trees of high market value. Potential strategies to control illegal logging activities in the Anavilhanas archipelago include encouragement of sustainable logging in Park buffer zones and stimulation of ecotourism initiatives in the southern region of the Park. Ecotourism development can provide an economic alternative to illegal logging for local communities and inhibit logging by increasing vigilance.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Andressa Bárbara Scabin, current address Avenida três de março 200, Complemento L4, Residencial Vila Azul, Sorocaba, São Paulo CEP 18087-180, Brazil, e-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D.W. Bird & R.L. Bliege Bird (1997) Contemporary shellfish gathering strategies among the Merriam of the Torres Strait Islands, Australia: testing predictions of a central place foraging model. Journal of Archaeological Science 24: 3963.

R.J.W. Brienen & P.A. Zuidema (2006) The use of tree rings in tropical forest management: projecting timber yields of four Bolivian tree species. Forest Ecology and Management 226: 256267.

S.T. Buckland , D.R. Anderson , K.P. Burnham & J.L. Laake (1993) Distance Sampling: Estimating Abundance of Biological Populations. London, UK: Chapaman & Hall1sted London, UK.

J.Q. Chambers , N. Higuchi , J. Schimel , L. Ferreira & J.L. Melack (2000) Decomposition and carbon cycling of dead trees in tropical forests of the central Amazon. Oecologia 122: 380388.

L.V. Ferreira (2000) Effects of flooding duration on species richness, floristic composition and forest structure in river margin habitat in Amazonian black water floodplain forests: implications for future design of protected areas. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 114.

S.F. Fonseca Jr, M.T.F. Piedade & J. Schöngart (2009) Wood growth of Tabebuia barbata (E. Mey.) Sandwith (Bignoniaceae) and Vatairea guianensis Aubl. (Fabaceae) in Central Amazonian black-water (igapó) and white-water (várzea) floodplain forests. Trees – Structure and Function 23 (1): 127134.

A.R. Holdsworth & C. Uhl (1997) Fire in Amazonian selective logged rainforest and the potential for fire reduction. Ecological Applications 7: 713725.

G. Irion , W.J. Junk & J. Mello (1997) The large central of Amazonian river floodplains near Manaus: geological, climatological, hydrological, and geomorphological aspects. In: The Central Amazon Floodplain. Ecology of a Pulsing System, ed. W.J. Junk , pp. 2342. Berline, Germany: Springer.

J.R. Lima , J. dos Santos & N. Higuchi (2005) Situação das indústrias madeireiras do estado do Amazonas em 2000. Acta Amazonica 35 (2):125132.

K. Murali , R. Uma Shankar , K. Uma Shaakeer , K.N. Ganeshaiaah & K.S. Bawa (1996) Extraction of non-timber forest products in the forests of Biligiri Rangan Hills, India. 2 Impact of NTFP extraction on regeneration, population structure, and species composition. Economic Botany 50 (3): 252269.

C. Peres , C. Baider , P.A. Zuidema , L.H.O. Wadt , K.A. Kainer , D.A.P. Gomes-Silva , R.P. Salomão , L.L. Simões , E.R.N. Franciosi , F.C. Valverde , R. Gribel , G.H. Shepard Jr, M. Kanashiro , P. Coventry , D.H. Yu , A.R. Watkinson & R.P. Freckleton (2003) Demographic threats to the sustainability of Brazil nut exploitation. Science 302: 21122114.

F. Putz & M. Pinard (1993) Reduced-impact logging as a carbon-offset method. Conservation Biology 7: 755757.

F.E. Putz , P. Sist , T. Fredericksen & D. Dykstra (2008) Reduced-impact logging: challenges and opportunities. Forest Ecology and Management 256: 14271433.

J. Schöngart (2008) Growth-oriented logging (GOL): a new concept towards sustainable forest management in Central Amazonian várzea floodplains. Forest Ecology and Management 256: 4658.

J. Schöngart & H.L. Queiroz (2010) Timber extraction in the Central Amazonian floodplains. In: Amazonian Floodplain Forests: Ecophysiology, Biodiversity and Sustainable Management. ed. W.J. Junk , M.T.F Piedade , F. Wittmann , J. Schöngart & P. Parolin , pp. 437464. Heidelberg, Germany: Ecological Studies, Springer Verlag.

J. Schöngart , M.T.F. Piedade , F. Wittmann , W.J. Junk & M. Worbes (2005) Wood growth patterns of Macrolobium acaciifolium (Benth.) Benth.(Fabaceae) in Amazonian black-water and white-water floodplain forests. Oecologia 145: 454461.

A. Veríssimo , P. Barreto , M. Mattos , R. Tarifa & C. Uhl (1992) Logging impacts and prospects for sustainable forest management in an old Amazonian frontier: the case of Paragominas. Forest Ecology and Management 55: 169199.

A. Veríssimo , P. Barreto , R. Tarifa & C. Uhl (1995) Extraction of high-value natural resource in Amazonian: the case of mahogany. Forest Ecology and Management 72: 3960.

M. Worbes & W.J. Junk (1989) Dating tropical trees by means of 14C from bomb tests. Ecology 70: 503507.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 142 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.