Sustainable forest management for small farmers in Acre State in the Brazilian Amazon
This thesis has the aim of presenting a forest management system to be applied on small farms, especially in the settlement projects of the Brazilian Amazon, and to examine its sustainability by investigating the responses of the forest in terms of the changes in natural regeneration in felling gaps and the dynamics of the residual trees. Using the program CAFOGROM, an additional aim was to simulate the forest responses to different cycle lengths, harvesting intensities and silvicultural treatments to determine the theoretical optimum combination of these parameters. The proposed forest management system was designed to generate a new source of family income and to maintain the structure and biodiversity of the legal forest reserves. The system is new in three main characteristics: the use of short cycles in the management of tropical forest, the low harvesting intensity and environmental impact and the direct involvement of the local population in all forest management activities. It is based on a minimum felling cycle of ten years and an annual harvest of 5-10 m3 ha-1 of timber. The gaps produced by logging in PC Peixoto can be classified as small or less often medium sized (canopy openness from 10% to 25%). Differences in gap size and canopy openness produced significant differences in the growth rates, species richness and species diversity of seedlings, but no statistically significant differences could be determined according to the position of the quadrats in the gaps. Mortality rates increased and recruitment rates decreased with increasing gap size. The density and recruitment of seedlings of commercial species was not different between gap sizes, but gap creation increased the growth rate of the seedlings of these species.