The use of forest inventory data for a National Protected Area Strategy in Guyana

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Abstract

Forest inventories are largely neglected in the debate of national parks selection in Guyana (and probably elsewhere). Because taxonomic data are often scant and biased towards are as of high collecting effort, large scale forest inventory data can be a useful tool adding to a knowledge database for forests. In this paper the use of forest inventories to select national parks in Guyana is assessed. With the data of a large scale inventory five forest regions could be distinguished and two were added on the base of existing other information. Forest composition in Guyana is largely determined by geology at a national level and soil type at regional level. Species diversity is higher in the south of Guyana, possibly due to higher disturbance and is also higher on the better soils. It is concluded that a selection of national parks in Guyana should include a sample of all seven regions, including as much soil variation as possible. Because of land use conflicts in central Guyana, this area is in need of quick attention of Guyana's policy makers.

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