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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 170974, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/170974
Research Article

The Effects of Selective Logging Behaviors on Forest Fragmentation and Recovery

1Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
2Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
3School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Received 10 February 2012; Revised 10 May 2012; Accepted 11 May 2012

Academic Editor: Todd S. Fredericksen

Copyright © 2012 Xanic J. Rondon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To study the impacts of selective logging behaviors on a forest landscape, we developed an intermediate-scale spatial model to link cross-scale interactions of timber harvesting, a fine-scale human activity, with coarse-scale landscape impacts. We used the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model with Holling’s functional response II to simulate selective logging, coupled with a cellular automaton model to simulate logger mobility and forest fragmentation. Three logging scenarios were simulated, each varying in timber harvesting preference and logger mobility. We quantified forest resilience by evaluating (1) the spatial patterns of forest fragmentation, (2) the time until the system crossed a threshold into a deforested state, and (3) recovery time. Our simulations showed that logging behaviors involving decisions made about harvesting timber and mobility can lead to different spatial patterns of forest fragmentation. They can, together with forest management practices, significantly delay or accelerate the transition of a forest landscape to a deforested state and its return to a recovered state. Intermediate-scale models emerge as useful tools for understanding cross-scale interactions between human activities and the spatial patterns that are created by anthropogenic land use.