Putting back the trees: smallholder silvicultural enrichment of post-logged concession forest in Peruvian Amazonia

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This paper presents a case of planting and management of natural regeneration of shihuahuaco (Dipteryx spp.) by recent migrants in a Peruvian Amazonian logging frontier. We interviewed residents of three communities of smallholders in Irazola District, Province of Padre Abad, Region of Ucayali, located within the historic and actual boundaries of an active logging concession, and conducted growth studies of shihuahuaco trees planted in two mixed-species agroforestry fields, over a period of 3 years. We found that the majority of landholders were managing the natural regeneration of valuable hardwood timber trees, and planting seedlings on their lands. Growth of shihuahuaco trees in agroforestry fields was comparable to growth rates in managed silvicultural plantations, which suggests the potential for local smallholders activities to contribute to conservation of genetic stock and eventual renewal of populations depleted by logging. We recommend greater recognition and inclusion of local people, with their innovative and productive silvicultural practices, in efforts to remediate the impacts of selective logging of high-value timber species.

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