Trade-Offs Among Forest Value Components in Community Forests of Southwestern Amazonia

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"Contemporary conservation interventions must balance potential trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services. In tropical forests, much attention has focused on the extent to which carbon-based conservation provided by REDD+ policies can also mitigate biodiversity conservation. In the nearly one-third of tropical forests that are community owned or managed, conservation strategies must also balance the multiple uses of forest products that support local livelihoods. Although much discussion has focused on policy options, little empirical evidence exists to evaluate the potential for trade-offs among different tropical forest value components. We assessed multiple components of forest value, including tree diversity, carbon stocks, and both timber and nontimber forest product resources, in forest communities across the trinational frontier of Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. We installed 69 0.5-ha vegetation plots in local communities, and we characterized 15 components of forest value for each plot. Principal components analyses revealed two major axes of forest value, the first of which defined a trade-off between diversity of woody plant communities (taxonomic and functional) versus aboveground biomass and standing timber volume. The second axis described abundance of commercial species, with strong positive loadings for density of timber and nontimber forest products, including Brazil nut Bertholletia excelsa and copaiba oil Copaifera. The observed trade-off between different components of forest value suggests a potential for management conflicts prioritizing biodiversity conservation versus carbon stocks in the region. We discuss the potential for integrative indices of forest value for tropical forest conservation."



biodiversity, brazil nuts, conservation, livelihoods, REDD, rubber, timber, rain forests