||Anthropogenic effects on a tropical forest according to the distance from human settlements.
Popradit, Ananya ,
Srisatit, Thares ,
Kiratiprayoon, Somboon ,
Yoshimura, Jin ,
Ishida, Atsushi ,
Shiyomi, Masae ,
Murayama, Takehiko ,
Chantaranothai, Pranom ,
Outtaranakorn, SomkidPhromma, Issara
52015-10-05 , Nature Publishing Group
The protection of tropical forests is one of the most urgent issues in conservation biology because of the rapid deforestation that has occurred over the last 50 years. Even in protected forests, the anthropogenic effects from newly expanding villages such as harvesting of medicinal plants, pasturing cattle and forest fires can induce environmental modifications, especially on the forest floor. We evaluated the anthropogenic effects of the daily activities of neighboring residents on natural forests in 12 plots extending from the village boundary into a natural forest in Thailand. The basal area per unit land area did not present a significant trend; however, the species diversity of woody plants decreased linearly towards the village boundary, which caused a loss of individual density because of severe declines in small saplings compared with adult trees and large saplings in proximity to the village. An analysis of tree-size categories indicates a lack of small samplings near the village boundary. The current forest appears to be well protected based on the adult tree canopy, but regeneration of the present-day forests is unlikely because of the loss of seedlings.