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Papua New Guinea's Forests: A Special Collection



Paul Dargusch, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

Fabio Attorre, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome

David Wadley, Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea & School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia


By many measures, Papua New Guinea’s forests are a source of precious natural wonder. Approximately 80% of the country is classified as forest land; more than 38 million ha, the third largest tropical forest area in the world after the Amazon and Congo basin. Of that forest, more than 75% (28 million ha) is classified as ‘intact’ or undisturbed by human activities. These forests provide vital habitat. Papua New Guinea alone accounts for more than five per cent of global biodiversity. The number of plant species in Papua New Guinea has been estimated to be between 15,000 to 20,000, representing about six per cent of the world’s flora. It is estimated that Papua New Guinea’s forests provide habitat for more than 150,000 species of insects, 314 species of freshwater fish (82 endemic), 641 species of amphibians and reptiles (328 endemic), 740 species of birds (77 endemic) and 276 species of mammals (69 endemic). Of global concern, Papua New Guinea’s forests are being lost at an alarming rate. Forest loss in Papua New Guinea’s low altitude forests, which account for around 20 million ha forest cover, has continued at between 3 and 5% loss by area per year since 2010, mostly driven (more than 90%) by log exports to China.

This special collection was compiled as part of Papua New Guinea’s National Forest Inventory. The inventory was unique in that in addition to data being collected on carbon stocks, data was also collected on floral and faunal components. The work presented in this collection presents some of the first studies of their kind. The papers are led by authors from Papua New Guinea. The collection serves as an important record of a valuable and unique forest resource. The results will contribute to the better management of the country’s forests, particularly as plans progress to engage in REDD+ and forest conservation finance initiatives. The collection also serves as an urgent call for the international community to help protect Papua New Guinea’s precious forests in ways determined by the people of Papua New Guinea for the primary benefit of people from Papua New Guinea.

The collection was made possible by the generous support of the Italian Development Cooperation through the FAO-Mountain Partnership Secretariat.


Ant Species Diversity, Distribution, and Community Composition in Different Forest Types in Papua New Guinea

Jacob Yombai, Petr Klimes, Paul Dargusch, Aloysius Posman, Ondrej Mottl, Alfred Mani, Vojtech Novotny


Realizing the Opportunities of REDD+: The Importance of Including Women’s Roles in Papua New Guinea’s First National Forest Inventory

June Mandawali, David Wadley, Ruth Turia


The Forest Extent in 2015 and the Drivers of Forest Change Between 2000 and 2015 in Papua New Guinea: Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Papua New Guinea

Gewa Gamoga, Ruth Turia, Hitofumi Abe, Masamichi Haraguchi, Oala Iuda


From Global to Local: An Assessment of Food Security Policy Implementation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Genia Hill


Modeling Soil Carbon Stocks in Morobe Province, PNG

Leroy Moripi


How Much Carbon Do the Soils of Papua New Guinea Forests Contain?: A Preliminary Assessment Based on the Multipurpose National Forest Inventory Soil Survey

N. Sam, P. Nimiago, T. Gaima, M. Gamung, L. Moripi, Y. Matsuura, A. Sumareke, J. Walters, M. Haraguchi, H. Abe, P. D. McIntosh


Disturbance Impacts of Logging on Ground Herbaceous Plant Species Richness, Diversity, and Composition of Lowland Rainforest of Papua New Guinea: Herbaceous Diversity in Tropical Papua New Guinea

Penniel Lamei, Fabio Attorre, Riccardo Testolin, Michele De Sanctis, Ruth Turia, Abe Hitofumi


Monitoring the Multiple Functions of Tropical Rainforest on a National Scale: An Overview From Papua New Guinea

Ruth Turia, Gewa Gamoga, Hitofumi Abe, Vojtech Novotny, Fabio Attorre, Lauri Vesa


Ecological Characterization of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) in Papua New Guinea

Kipiro Qizac Damas, Silvio Cianciullo, Michele De Sanctis, Riccardo Testolin, Alessio Farcomeni, Abe Hitofumi, Vojtech Novotny, Paul Dargusch, Fabio Attorre


Geometrid Moth Species Richness, Distribution and Community Composition in Different Forest Types of Papua New Guinea

Jason Paliau, Alfred Mani, Lui Napa, Cassey Uvau, Steven Sau, Robert Kiapranis, Paul Dargusch, Fabio Attorre, Vojtěch Novotný


Fern Species Richness and Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Papua New Guinea: A Case Study Along an Elevational Gradient

Gibson Lainza Sosanika, Bernard Sule, Kaigube Fazang, Peter Homot, Graham Kaina, Robert Kiapranis, Kipiro Damas, Abe Hitofumi, Ruth Turia, Riccardo Testolin, Fabio Attore, Vojtech Novotny, Paul Dargusch, Daniele Cicuzza


Distribution of Liana Richness and Abundance in the Forest of Papua New Guinea

Peter Homot, Gibson Sosanika, Kipiro Q. Damas, Robert Kiapranis, Daniele Cicuzza, Riccardo Testolin, Fabio Attore, Abe Hitufumi


Beyond the Trees: A Comparison of Nonwoody Species, and Their Ecology, in Papua New Guinea Elevational Gradient Forest

Tiberius Jimbo, Simon Saulei, Jimmy Moses, Balun Lawong, Graham Kaina, Robert Kiapranis, Abe Hitofumi, Vojtech Novotny, Fabio Attorre, Riccardo Testolin, Daniele Cicuzza


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