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Open AccessArticle

Implications of Selective Harvesting of Natural Forests for Forest Product Recovery and Forest Carbon Emissions: Cases from Tarai Nepal and Queensland Australia

Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland 4350, Australia
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Forests 2019, 10(8), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080693
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Carbon Inventories and Management)
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Abstract

Selective logging is one of the main natural forest harvesting approaches worldwide and contributes nearly 15% of global timber needs. However, there are increasing concerns that ongoing selective logging practices have led to decreased forest product supply, increased forest degradation, and contributed to forest based carbon emissions. Taking cases of natural forest harvesting practices from the Tarai region of Nepal and Queensland Australia, this study assesses forest product recovery and associated carbon emissions along the timber production chain. Field measurements and product flow analysis of 127 commercially harvested trees up to the exit gate of sawmills and interaction with sawmill owners and forest managers reveal that: (1) Queensland selective logging has less volume recovery (52.8%) compared to Nepal (94.5%) leaving significant utilizable volume in the forest, (2) Stump volume represents 5.5% of total timber volume in Nepal and 3.9% in Queensland with an average stump height of 43.3 cm and 40.1 cm in Nepal and Queensland respectively, (3) Average sawn timber output from the harvested logs is 36.3% in Queensland against 61% in Nepal, (4) Nepal and Queensland leave 0.186 Mg C m−3 and 0.718 Mg C m−3 on the forest floor respectively, (5) Each harvested tree damages an average of five plant species in Nepal and four in Queensland predominantly seedlings in both sites, and (6) Overall logging related total emissions in Queensland are more than double (1.099 Mg C m−3) those in Nepal (0.488 Mg C m−3). We compared these results with past studies and speculated on possible reasons for and potential implications of these results for sustainable forest management and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable forest management; REDD+; selective logging; timber utilization; harvesting damage; natural forest degradation sustainable forest management; REDD+; selective logging; timber utilization; harvesting damage; natural forest degradation
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Poudyal, B.H.; Maraseni, T.N.; Cockfield, G. Implications of Selective Harvesting of Natural Forests for Forest Product Recovery and Forest Carbon Emissions: Cases from Tarai Nepal and Queensland Australia. Forests 2019, 10, 693.

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