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The effects of commercial mechanised selective logging on a transect in lowland rainforest in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon

  • Lee J. T. White (a1)


Plots of 1.25 and 11.25 ha were enumerated for trees and lianes ≥10 cm and trees ≥70 cm dbh respectively along a line transect in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. In the small plot 511 trees and lianes of 116 species were found, and 175 trees of 48 species were present in the large plot. The plots were then subject to commercial mechanised logging and the enumerations were repeated once logging had been completed. The extraction rate was two trees ha−1 and in the large plot a total of 31 (17.7%) trees representing 20.6% of the total original basal area died. Incidental damage in the small plot resulted in the loss of 10.8% of trees and lianes present, and 12.9% of the original basal area. Canopy cover was reduced by 10%. Damage levels were low compared with figures from most other tropical regions. The relevance of these figures to forest management in Gabon are discussed.


Corresponding author

correspondence: SEGC, B. P. 7847, Libreville, Gabon.


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