Unpublished conference/Abstract (Scientific congresses and symposiums)
Interactions between forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and selective logging in central Africa
Scalbert, Morgane; Vermeulen, Cédric; Tossens, Sarah et al.
2022European Conference of Tropical Ecology
 

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Keywords :
Loxodonta cyclotis,; forest elephant; selective logging; abundance; seed dispersal; herbivory
Abstract :
[en] With populations reduced by more than 80% over the last 93 years, forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are facing increasing human pressure. As observed in previous megaherbivore extinctions, the decline of forest elephants will have serious ecological consequences. Regularly referred to as ecosystem engineers, forest elephants shape tropical ecosystems, both in composition and structure, due to their enormous food requirements and the impact of their massive body size. They maintain the forest’s richness and diversity by dispersing the seeds of many species, create micro-habitats and maintain nutrient cycles and forest clearings. Given their extent, timber concessions could be a major actor in forest elephant conservation, but it is still necessary to better understand the impacts of logging on forest elephants and conversely the impacts of forest elephants on timber resources. Therefore, our study aims to (1) assess the impacts of logging activities on the presence, abundance and movement of forest elephants; (2) evaluate the importance of forest elephants in the regeneration of several timber species and (3) characterize the damage caused by forest elephants to trees and forest plantations. The methods applied are diverse and include among others the use of camera traps and acoustic sensors, dung count on transects and bark damage surveys on transects and in plots. Preliminary findings suggest that (1) under specific conditions, timber concessions can host large populations of forest elephants; (2) forest elephants are the main seed dispersers of Detarium macrocarpum and Bobgunnia fistuloides, two timber species, and (3) from branch breaking to bark stripping, forest elephant damage is diverse and affects a wide range of species, which seem to evolve over time.
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Scalbert, Morgane ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Vermeulen, Cédric ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Tossens, Sarah ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > TERRA Research Centre > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Holvoet, Justin ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
d'Aspremont Lynden, Marie;  Université de Liège > Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech > Gestion des ressources forestières et des espaces naturels
Doucet, Jean-Louis ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Language :
English
Title :
Interactions between forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and selective logging in central Africa
Publication date :
07 June 2022
Event name :
European Conference of Tropical Ecology
Event place :
Montpellier, France
Event date :
du 7 juin 2022 au 9 juin 2022
Audience :
International
Available on ORBi :
since 08 August 2022

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