Secondary forest

A secondary forest (or second-growth forest) is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. It is distinguished from an old-growth forest (primary or primeval forest), which has not recently undergone such disruption, and complex early seral forest, as well as third-growth forests that result from harvest in second growth forests. Secondary forest regrowing after timber harvest differs from forest regrowing after natural disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, or windthrow because the dead trees remain to provide nutrients, structure, and water retention after natural disturbances. However, often after natural disturbance the timber is harvested and removed from the system, in which case the system more closely resembles secondary forest rather than complex early seral forest.

Stanley tree
The forest in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is generally considered to have second and third growth characteristics. This photo shows regeneration, a tree growing out of the stump of another tree that was felled in 1962 by the remnants of Typhoon Freda.


Depending on the forest, the development of primary characteristics may take anywhere from a century to several millennia. Hardwood forests of the eastern United States, for example, can develop primary characteristics in one or two generations of trees, or 150–500 years. Often the disruption is the result of human activity, such as logging, but natural phenomena that produce the same effect are often included in the definition. Secondary forests tend to have trees closer spaced than primary forests and contain less undergrowth than primary forests. Secondary forests typically were thought to lack biodiversity compared to primary forests,[1] however this has been challenged in recent years. Usually, secondary forests have only one canopy layer, whereas primary forests have several.

Secondary forestation is common in areas where forests have been lost by the slash-and-burn method, a component of some shifting cultivation systems of agriculture. Secondary forests may also arise from forest that has been harvested heavily or over a long period of time, forest that is naturally regenerating from fire and from abandoned pastures or areas of agriculture. It takes a secondary forest typically forty to 100 years to begin to resemble the original old-growth forest; however, in some cases a secondary forest will not succeed, due to erosion or soil nutrient loss in certain tropical forests.

Secondary forests re-establish by the process of succession. Openings created in the forest canopy allow sunlight to reach the forest floor. An area that has been cleared will first be colonized by pioneer species. Even though some species loss may occur with primary forest removal, a secondary forest can protect the watershed from further erosion and provides habitat. Secondary forests may also buffer edge effects around mature forest fragments and increase connectivity between them. They may also be a source of wood and other forest products.

Today most of the forest of the United States, the eastern part of North America and Europe consist of secondary forest.


In the case of tropical rainforests, where soil nutrient levels are characteristically low, the soil quality may be significantly diminished following the removal of primary forest. In Panama, growth of new forests from abandoned farmland exceeded loss of primary rainforest in 1990.[2] However, due to the diminished quality of soil, among other factors, the presence of a significant majority of primary forest species fail to recover in these second-growth forests.

See also


  1. ^ Chazdon, Robin L. (2008). "Beyond deforestation: restoring forests and ecosystem services on degraded lands" (PDF). Science. 320 (5882): 1458–1460.
  2. ^ "New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Rain Forests" article by Elisabeth Rosenthal in The New York Times January 29, 2009


External links

Arrow flying squirrel

The arrow flying squirrel (Petinomys sagitta) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is endemic to Java, Indonesia. The population is unknown as it is only known from the type specimen from 1766. It is nocturnal and arboreal and may be found in primary and secondary forest. It is threatened by forest loss due to logging and agriculture and there are no known conservation actions.

Audra State Park

Audra State Park is a West Virginia state park located on 355 acres (1.44 km2) in southwestern Barbour County. It was established around the remnants of an early 19th-century gristmill and the tiny community of Audra. A gristmill spillway is still visible in the river.

The park is a hilly, secondary forest area bisected by the Middle Fork River. The deep pools, large, flat rocks, and riverside beach have provided generations of campers, local teens and college students a place to swim or work on their tans. Audra State Park is the site of Alum Cave, which is accessible by a boardwalk built along this overhanging sandstone ledge.

The park serves as the put-in point for a 6.6 mile kayak run along about 2.8 miles the Middle Fork River and about 3.8 miles of the Tygart Valley River to the confluence of the latter with the Buckhannon River.

Blackjack Springs Wilderness

The Blackjack Springs Wilderness is a 5,800-acre (23 km2) wilderness area northeast of Eagle River, Wisconsin. It is located within the Nicolet unit of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and is administered by the US Forest Service. The area protects four large, crystal-clear springs at the headwaters of Blackjack Creek, part of the Eagle River and Wisconsin River drainage. The area was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by Congress in 1978.

The area displays the rolling, uneven landscape caused by the Wisconsin Glacial Episode, typical of the Lake Superior highlands. The wilderness area itself contains one lake, Whispering Lake, and a number of other streams, ponds, and wetland areas. A majority of the forest is new-growth secondary forest, a result of extensive logging during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Logging roads and railroad grades are still evident in the area.Wildlife found in the wilderness area include American black bear, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, various songbirds, and fisher.

The Blackjack Springs area provides opportunities for camping, hunting, hiking, canoeing, birdwatching, and fishing.

Bukit Duabelas National Park

Bukit Duabelas (meaning The Twelve Hills) is a relatively small national park covering 605 km² in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is representative of lowland tropical rain forests in the province of Jambi. Only the northern part of the park consists of primary rainforest, while the rest is secondary forest, as result of previous logging. The park is inhabited by the indigenous Orang Rimba.

Centurion (tree)

The Centurion is the world's tallest known individual Eucalyptus regnans tree and E. regnans is the second-tallest tree species in the world after the coast redwood. The tree is located in southern Tasmania, Australia and was measured by climber-deployed tapeline at 99.6 metres (327 ft) tall in 2008.

Two more recent measurements indicated that the tree was growing, albeit very slowly. In January 2014 the tree was climbed and the tape drop indicated the tree had grown to 99.82m. However, a further tape drop done in 2016 obtained the slightly lower height of 99.67m

Centurion was re-measured again in December 2018 and was found to have possibly reached 100.5 meters in height. However, this latest measurement was done with a laser and needs confirmation via a tape drop.

It was discovered in August 2008 by employees of Forestry Tasmania while analysing the data collected by LiDAR system used in mapping and assessment of state forest resources.The diameter of Centurion is 4.05 metres, its girth exceeds 12 metres, and its volume has been estimated at 268 cubic metres. The name "Centurion" was saved for the hundredth noble tree to be discovered by Forestry Tasmania and coincided with the height of the tree. Named after centurions (Roman officers), the root of the name contains centum, which in Latin means "one hundred". Centurion is alternately known as "the Bradman" as the height of the tree at 99.82 metres was close to the test run average of the legendary Australian cricketer Donald Bradman.The tree is in a small patch of very old forest surrounded by secondary forest and has survived logging and forest fires by lucky coincidence. Near Centurion grow two other giant trees: the 86.5 metre tall E. regnans named Triarius and 'The Prefect' which has an impressive girth of 19m.

The tallest known coast Douglas fir is now listed at 99.7 m tall and comes a close third. Centurion is also the tallest known angiosperm in the world.

Cozumel harvest mouse

The Cozumel harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys spectabilis) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is endemic to the Mexican island of Cozumel off the Yucatán Peninsula. It is nocturnal and semiareboreal, and lives in dense secondary forest and forest edge habitats. Its population is small, fluctuating and patchily distributed. The species is threatened by predation from feral cats and dogs and introduced boa constrictors, by competition with introduced nonnative rats and mice, and by habitat disturbances caused by hurricanes and floods which periodically strike the island.

Federal Hill, Kuala Lumpur

Federal Hill (Malay: Bukit Persekutuan) is a low-density and affluent residential area in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This residential area was developed during the British colonial era.

Federal Hill is covered by an 18-acre (0.073 km2) secondary forest. It is bordered by Lebuhraya Mahameru to the northeast, Jalan Travers to the southeast and Jalan Maarof to the southwest. KL Sentral is located across Jalan Bangsar. The Lake Gardens is situated adjacent to Federal Hill.

Grey-cheeked mangabey

The grey-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena), also known as the white-cheeked mangabey, is an Old World monkey found in the forests of Central Africa. It ranges from Cameroon down to Gabon. The grey-cheeked mangabey is a dark monkey, looking in shape overall like a small, hairy baboon. Its thick brown fur is almost black in its forest home, with a slightly rufus/golden mane around the neck. The sexes are similar, with the males slightly larger than the females.

The grey-cheeked mangabey lives in a variety of habitats with the forests of Central Africa, it is generally thought to live in either swamp or primary forests, in some areas it has also been found in secondary forest as well. Some authors in the past have considered the species to be restricted to the forest canopy, however more recently habituated troops have been observed on the forest floor collecting food. It feeds primarily on fruit, particularly figs, taking other fruits seasonally, as well as shoots, flowers and insects.

The grey-cheeked mangabey lives in groups of between 5 and 30 individuals. The groups have either a single male or (more usually) several, without a single dominant male. Young males leave the troop once they are adult and join other troops, whereas the females stay in the troop of their birth. If troops become too large they may split. Confrontations between troops are rare, as this mangabey will usually avoid other troops. Their territories cover several square miles of forest, and can both overlap with other troops and shift over time.

Three subspecies of this mangabey were previously recognized. In 2007, Colin Groves elevated them all to species level, splitting one (johnstoni) into two species.

Grey crow

The grey crow (Corvus tristis), formerly known as the bare-faced crow, is about the same size (42–45 cm in length) as the Eurasian carrion crow (Corvus corone) but has somewhat different proportions and quite atypical feather pigmentation during the juvenile phase for a member of this genus.

The tail feathers are relatively long and graduated and the legs are relatively short. The overall colouring of the adult bird is black with randomly bleached wing and tail feathers. A large region around the eye is quite bare of feathering and shows pinkish-white skin with the eyes a bluish-white. The bill is unusual too in being very variable, bluish on upper mandible and pinkish-white on the lower in some specimens, while on others the whole bill is pinkish white with a darker tip. The forward pointing nasal bristles so often prominent in other Corvus species are very reduced also.

The juvenile bird by comparison has remarkably pale plumage being light brown to cream, the wings, tail and primaries showing blackish-brown and fawn and the head and underparts often almost white.

The species occurs all over the huge island of New Guinea and associated offshore islands in both primary and secondary forest in both lowland and hill forest up to 1350 m.

Feeding is both on the ground and in trees taking a very wide range of items. Fruit seems to be very important making up a large percentage of the intake though small animals such as frogs and aquatic insect larvae are taken from shallow water on sand or shingle beds in rivers. When foraging through the trees the birds keep loose, noisy contact with each other and usually number between 4–8 individuals.

The voice is described as a weak sounding 'ka' or a whining 'caw' with other hoarse sounding notes added when excited.

Niceforo's big-eared bat

Niceforo's big-eared bat (Trinycteris nicefori) is a bat species from South and Central America, ranging from Chiapas to Bolivia and northeastern Brazil. Its habitat is primary and secondary forest at altitudes from sea level to 1000 m. It is crepuscular, being most active in the hour after sunset and before dawn. The species is monotypic within its genus.

Non-timber forest product

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs), also known as non-wood forest products (NWFPs), minor forest produce, special, minor, alternative and secondary forest products, are useful substances, materials and/or commodities obtained from forests which do not require harvesting (logging) trees. They include game animals, fur-bearers, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, oils, foliage, pollarding, medicinal plants, peat, mast, fuelwood, fish, spices, and forage.Research on NTFPs has focused on their ability to be produced as commodities for rural incomes and markets, as an expression of traditional knowledge or as a livelihood option for rural household needs, and as a key component of sustainable forest management and conservation strategies. All research promotes forest products as valuable commodities and tools that can promote the conservation of forests.

Oecomys speciosus

Oecomys speciosus, also known as the savannah oecomys, arboreal rice rat, or Venezuelan arboreal rice rat, is a species of rodent in the genus Oecomys of family Cricetidae. It ranges over northeastern Colombia and much of Venezuela, including the island of Trinidad. This rodent lives in tropical rainforest and tropical dry forest, including secondary forest and gallery forest, as well as in savanna habitat.

Prehensile-tailed hutia

The prehensile-tailed hutia (Mysateles prehensilis) is a species of rodent in the family Capromyidae endemic to Cuba. It is an arboreal foliovore, found in both primary and secondary forest. Its karyotype has 2n = 34 and FN = 54-56.The species is listed as Near threatened on the IUCN Red List. Although locally common in some areas, it is in decline and is threatened by deforestation and habitat fragmentation.

Ratchet-tailed treepie

The ratchet-tailed treepie (Temnurus temnurus) is a species of bird in the crow and jay family Corvidae. The species is also known as the notch-tailed treepie. It is monotypic within the genus Temnurus.The species has a disjunct distribution in Southeast Asia and China. One population is found in southern Thailand, another in southern Vietnam, another in central and northern Vietnam and Laos, and the last in Hainan in China. Its natural habitat tropical moist broadleaf evergreen lowland forests, and secondary forest and scrubland.

Rubber tapping

Rubber tapping is the process by which latex is collected from a rubber tree. The latex is harvested by slicing a groove into the bark of the tree at a depth of a quarter inch with a hooked knife and peeling back the bark. Trees must be approximately six years old and six inches in diameter in order to be tapped for latex. Rubber Tapping is not damaging to the forest, as it does not require the tree to be cut down in order for the latex to be extracted. Jungle rubber is essentially old secondary forest, strongly resembling the primary forest. Its species' richness is about half that of the primary forest. Michon and de Foresta (1994) found that sample jungle rubber sites contained 92 tree species, 97 lianas, and 28 epiphytes compared with 171, 89, and 63, respectively, in the primary forest, and compared with 1, 1, and 2 in monoculture estates. Thiollay (1995) estimated that jungle rubber supports about 137 bird species, against 241 in the primary forest itself. Jungle rubber is expected to resemble primary forest in its hydrological functions. Mono culture rubber tree plantations have far less of an environmental impact than other crops, such as coffee or especially oil palm.

Tate's woolly mouse opossum

Tate's woolly mouse opossum (Marmosa paraguayana) is an omnivorous, arboreal South American marsupial of the family Didelphidae, named after American zoologist George Henry Hamilton Tate. It is native to Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The species lives in both primary and secondary forest, including forest fragments within grassland. Insects are a major component of its diet. It was formerly assigned to the genus Micoureus, which was made a subgenus of Marmosa in 2009. While its conservation status is "least concern", its habitat is shrinking through urbanization and conversion to agriculture over much of its range.

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a state park of California, USA, protecting a tract of secondary forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located outside Aptos, California and contains over 40 miles (64 km) of hiking trails and fire roads through 10,223 acres (4,137 ha) of variable terrain.

Triarius (tree)

The Triarius, a tree, is a very large Eucalyptus regnans that is located in southern Tasmania, Australia. In 2010 the tree was estimated to be 86.5 metres (284 ft) tall, its diameter was 3.9 metres (13 ft), and the volume of the trunk was 219 cubic metres (7,700 cu ft).The tree was discovered in August 2008 by employees of Forestry Tasmania while analysing the data collected by LiDAR system used in mapping and assessment of state forest resources. The tree was discovered located in secondary forest and survived logging and forest fires by a lucky coincidence. Next to the Triarius, south-east from it there grows the highest known eucalypt in the world - the 99.82-metre (327.5 ft) tall E. regnans named Centurion.

Tropical forest

Tropical forests are forested landscapes in tropical regions: i.e. land areas approximately bounded by the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, but possibly affected by other factors such as prevailing winds.

Some categories of tropical forest types are difficult. While forests in temperate areas are readily categorised on the basis of tree canopy density, such schemes do not work well in tropical forests. There is no single scheme that defines what a forest is, in tropical regions or elsewhere. Because of these difficulties, information on the extent of tropical forests varies between sources. However, Tropical Forests are extensive, making up just under half the world’s forests.

Ecology and

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