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Clearcutting and selective logging have inconsistent effects on liana diversity and abundance but not on liana–tree interaction networks

Citation

Addo-Fordjour, Patrick; Afram, Isaac (2020), Clearcutting and selective logging have inconsistent effects on liana diversity and abundance but not on liana–tree interaction networks , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cjsxksn4q

Abstract

Understanding the effects of forest management on lianas and their interaction with trees is an important step towards effective forest management. Our study therefore aimed at quantifying the patterns of liana diversity and abundance, and liana-tree interaction network structure in response to logging disturbance in a moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana. We sampled lianas (diameter at 1.3 m ≥ 1 cm) and their host trees (diameter at breast height ≥ 5 cm) in 90 20 × 20 m plots among three forest management regimes: clearcut-logged, selectively-logged and old-growth forests. Liana species diversity and abundance in the selectively-logged forest was similar to that of the old-growth forest, while that in clearcut-logged forest was significantly lower than both above-mentioned forest types. Liana-tree interaction networks showed anti-nested structure, which is a form of nonrandom community organization. There were significant modularity and degree of specialization, but no significant connectance in the network structure. Largely, most of the species were peripherals, while a few species acted as structurally important species (i.e. module hubs, network hubs and connectors) in the three networks. A different set of species acted as structurally important species in the different forest management regimes. Our findings call for a re-examination of clearcutting logging in forest management in view of its negative effects on lianas, and we recommend prioritizing important modules in liana-tree network for future conservation.

Methods

Plant species were identified by plant taxonomists, and recourse to identification manuals.