Mosaics of canopy openness induced by tropical cyclones in lowland rain forests with contrasting management histories in northeastern Australia

Grove, Simon J., Turton, Stephen M., and Siegenthaler, Danny T. (2000) Mosaics of canopy openness induced by tropical cyclones in lowland rain forests with contrasting management histories in northeastern Australia. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 16 (6). pp. 883-894.

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Abstract

Tropical Cyclone 'Rona' crossed the coast of the Daintree lowlands of northeastern Australia in 1999. This study reports on its impact on forest canopy openness at six lowland rain forest sites with contrasting management histories (old-growth, selectively logged and regrowth). Percentage canopy openness was calculated from individual hemispherical photographs taken from marked points below the forest canopy at nine plots per site 3±4 mo before the cyclone, and at the same points a month afterwards. Before the cyclone, when nine sites were visited, canopy openness in old-growth and logged sites was similar, but significantly higher in regrowth forest. After the cyclone, all six revisited sites showed an increase in canopy openness, but the increase was very patchy amongst plots and sites and varied from insignificant to severe. The most severely impacted site was an old-growth one, the least impacted a logged one. Although proneness to impact was apparently related to forest management history (old-growth being the most impacted), underlying local topography may have had an equally strong influence in this case. It was concluded that the likelihood of severe impact may be determined at the landscape-scale by the interaction of anthropogenic with meteorological, physiographic and biotic factors. In the long term, such interactions may caution against pursuing forest management in cyclone-prone areas.

Item ID: 557
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Australia, canopy openness, cyclone, eisturbance, hemiphots, management history, patch dynamics, rain forest, tropical
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© 2000 Cambridge University Press : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher : This journal is available online - use hypertext links above.

ISSN: 1469-7831
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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