A study was made of the hydrological and erosional consequences of logging in rain forests in Sabah, Malaysia. Investigations were carried out in small hillslope plots. Laboratory measurements of the effects of compaction on soil permeability were also carried out. Following logging there was a four-fold increase in runoff volumes, and an increase in sediment yield of >two orders of magnitude. These results helped to elucidate both the average changes in catchment response due to rain forest logging, and the likely spatial variability that results from different degrees of land use change in different parts of the catchment. The effects of vegetation regeneration were also investigated in plots from areas that had been logged in 1988-89 and in 1991, to help to evaluate the significance of spatial variability within catchments that have been logged at different times in the past. The results indicated that runoff volumes decline considerably over a four-year regeneration period, although they become more spatially variable and can remain high in some areas. Sediment yields declined systematically with the length of the regeneration period. After four years sediment yields were close to those of undisturbed rain forest.
Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography (1994) 76 (3) 143-152 [doi: 10.2307/521033]