Biodiversity Impacts of Logging and Plantation Conversion in Bornean Dipterocarp Forests


Linda Kramme

Advisors: Mark Ashton, Lisa Curran, Michael Dove


I will participate in a study to evaluate biodiversity and land use change in previously logged and plantation areas of Gunung Palung National Park and surrounding areas in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. This is part of a larger NASA study entitled "Effects of Logging, Plantation Conversion, Biomass Burning and Regrowth on Carbon Dynamics in Bornean Peat and Dipterocarp Forests: Implications for Global Carbon Cycle" (Curran et al, NASA proposal NOI-NASA -NRA-04-OES-01) which will evaluate logging, plantation conversion, biomass burning and regrowth on carbon dynamics in Borneo. This is one of several NASA-sponsored regional studies aimed to reduce major uncertainties about the global carbon budget.

Indonesian Borneo has experienced dramatic land use change over the past two decades, particularly due to fires in 1982/83 and in 1997/98 during El Nino Southern Oscillation events. The influence of these fires, as well as logging and conversion of natural forests to plantation, on the global carbon budget remains unknown. This biodiversity research will help with Objective One of the above-described study, which is to:

"...develop a regional-scale database that can be used to quantify variations in terrestrial carbon storage as a function of the several major forest cover and land use types found throughout the region."

To accomplish this research, I will be collaborating with a local project team with years of field experience, and drawing on the extensive remote sensing and vegetation data compiled over more than 20 years by Lisa Curran and Indonesian researchers.

My specific research questions are:

  1. What are population levels of key biodiversity indicator species such as hornbills in logged forest and plantation forests within and around Gunung Palung National Park after a mast fruiting event such as what is expected in spring of 2005?
  2. What additional biodiversity surveys might be possible in conjunction with World Wildlife Fund's "Heart of Borneo" project that seeks to connect intact forest fragments in the eastern part of the province.

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3 January 2005