Above-Ground Biomass and Tree Species Diversity in the Anap Sustainable Development Unit, Sarawak

In Anthropogenic Tropical Forests: Human–Nature Interfaces on the Plantation Frontier
Chapter: 10
Book Chapter

With rapid deforestation and forest degradation ongoing in tropical regions, the maintenance of biodiversity and high biomass/carbon stocks can bring additional benefits to the sustainable management of natural forests along with sustainable timber production. However, the measures for improving the maintenance of biodiversity and high biomass are not well evaluated. For this study, we established vegetation plots in the Anap Sustainable Development Unit (ASDU) in Bintulu, Sarawak, including the Anap-Muput Forest Management Unit (AMFMU), in order to investigate the distribution of above-ground biomass and tree species diversity. Using a Landsat image, we mapped the distribution of above-ground biomass all over the ASDU as of 2009. This distribution of above-ground biomass inside the AMFMU was not well correlated with the time that had elapsed since the last cycle of logging. The topography of the area may in fact be a more important factor. In total, 986 tree species were recorded in 70 plots (covering 8.3 ha in total). The species richness was not obviously different between recently harvested forests and primary forests, demonstrating that it is not severely affected by logging activity. As the above-ground biomass and tree species richness cannot be predicted by the years after harvesting alone, adaptive management with continuous monitoring is necessary to maintain the benefits of sustainable forest management.