Small-scale wood harvesting from mangrove forests is a commonplace yet barely studied phenomenon. This paper integrates bio-ecological and ethnographic methods to examine local wood use and cutting of mangrove forests in two areas of the Philippines. Findings reveal considerable site variation in cutting intensity, with heavier cutting typically closer to settlements and in forest stands that are not effectively regulated by government or private interests. Overall, cutting is responsible for almost 90% of stem mortality in both natural and plantation forests. Field measurements confirm ethnographic evidence indicating that harvesting for construction wood, but not fuel-wood, is both species- and size-selective. Mangrove management and conservation efforts can be made more effective by better understanding how local people are harvesting wood resources from these forests.
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Vol. 59 • No. 1