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Forests 2018, 9(7), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070390

Variation in Tree Community Composition and Carbon Stock under Natural and Human Disturbances in Andean Forests, Peru

1
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Forest Research and Management Organization, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
2
Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (SERFOR), Avenida 7 N° 229 Urb. Rinconada Baja, La Molina, Lima 15170, Peru
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Deforestation and forest degradation in Andean forests is influenced by natural and social environments including a wide elevation range and anthropogenic disturbance. Tree community composition is receiving attention as a key indicator of forest degradation. However, difference in factors affecting community composition at different elevation zones remains unclear. We aimed at elucidating factors (natural and human disturbances, and forest characteristics) that influence the variations in community composition in Andean forests. We conducted a ground-based survey setting 45 plots across a wide elevation range (ca. 600 to 3500 m a.s.l.) in Cusco region, Peru. Above ground biomass (AGB) decreased with increasing elevation. The generalized linear models for multivariate abundance data suggested that a factor affecting community composition was natural disturbance (erosion) at low elevation (<1000 m), while human disturbance (infrastructure such as sheds and trails) at high elevation (≥2400 m). Within each of the different elevation zones, the AGB affected community composition only at mid elevation (1000–2400 m), whereas mean tree height showed a consistent effect on community composition across the three elevations. Our results suggest that the effects of human disturbance on community composition were more prominent at higher elevation. The results also suggest that mean tree height may have a potential to be a key measure for evaluating variations in community composition in Andean forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; biodiversity; carbon pool; community structure; Cusco; mean tree height; REDD+; species richness biomass; biodiversity; carbon pool; community structure; Cusco; mean tree height; REDD+; species richness
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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Miyamoto, K.; Sato, T.; Arana Olivos, E.A.; Clostre Orellana, G.; Rohner Stornaiuolo, C.M. Variation in Tree Community Composition and Carbon Stock under Natural and Human Disturbances in Andean Forests, Peru. Forests 2018, 9, 390.

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