Logging doubles threat to the Amazon, rivaling clear-cutting, study suggests

ogging added 60 to 128 percent more damaged forest area than was reported for deforestation alone in the same study period.

The total volume of harvested trees represents roughly 10 to 15 million metric tons of carbon removed from the ecosystem, according to the authors. They estimate that this amount represents a 25 percent increase in the overall flow of carbon from the Amazonian forest to the atmosphere.

Logging causes major ecological disruptions as well. Vines threading through the trees can pull down large amounts of vegetation when a tree falls. The forest also becomes drier and more flammable, as the shady canopy is thinned.

"Logged forests are areas of extraordinary damage," Asner said. "A tree crown can be 25 meters. When you knock down a tree it causes a lot of damage in the understory. It's a debris field down there."


Contact: Natasha Pinol
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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