A new study published today in the journal Current Biology reports that selective logging or removal of just 6-8 trees from a 2.5 acre area halves the species of amphibians and removal of just 3-4 trees from the same area can half the species of mammals.
In the published paper, Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh and Suzana Barivalova used meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests.
Exactly which factors are impacting biodiversity isn’t clear, but researchers suggest that mammals take a hit from poachers, who are able to more readily access the area as a result of new roads. Amphibians are probably affected by the resulting bare patches of forest that are exposed to the sun. These create microclimates in the forest, becoming unbearably hot and dry once the sun is able to reach the ground.