Measuring disturbance in tropical forests: a critique of the use of species-abundance models and indicator measures in general.

Published online
08 Oct 1998
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Watt, A. D.

Publication language


Methods of assessing tropical forest disturbance are discussed, and it is argued that the use of species-abundance models to assess whether a forest is disturbed or not ignores the different types, degrees and scales of disturbance that exist, each of which potentially have a different impact on forest biodiversity. It is suggested that research should not focus on trying to find an ecological test to detect whether disturbance of any form has occurred, but rather on quantifying the impact of the many forms of disturbance on biodiversity as a basis for minimising the threat of land use change on biodiversity.

Key words