Implications of tropical cyclones on damage and potential recovery and restoration of logged forests in Vietnam

S. M. Stas, B. D. Spracklen, P. D. Willetts, T. T. Le, H. D. Tran, T. T. Le, D. T. Ngo, A. V. Le, H. T. Le, E. Rutishauser, J. Schwendike, J. H. Marsham, M. Van Kuijk, E. K.K. Jew, O. L. Phillips, D. V. Spracklen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many natural forests in Southeast Asia are degraded following decades of logging. Restoration of these forests is delayed by ongoing logging and tropical cyclones, but the implications for recovery are largely uncertain. We analysed meteorological, satellite and forest inventory plot data to assess the effect of Typhoon Doksuri, a major tropical cyclone, on the forest landscapes of central Vietnam consisting of natural forests and plantations. We estimated the return period for a cyclone of this intensity to be 40 years. Plantations were almost twice as likely to suffer cyclone damage compared to natural forests. Logged natural forests (9-12 years after cessation of government-licensed logging) were surveyed before and after the storm with 2 years between measurements and remained a small biomass carbon sink (0.1 ± 0.3 Mg C ha -1 yr -1) over this period. The cyclone reduced the carbon sink of recovering natural forests by an average of 0.85 Mg C ha -1 yr -1, less than the carbon loss due to ongoing unlicensed logging. Restoration of forest landscapes in Southeast Asia requires a reduction in unlicensed logging and prevention of further conversion of degraded natural forests to plantations, particularly in landscapes prone to tropical cyclones where natural forests provide a resilient carbon sink. This article is part of the theme issue 'Understanding forest landscape restoration: reinforcing scientific foundations for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210081
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1867
Early online date14 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge logistical support from VietNature and the World Land Trust. We would like to thank our field research assistants for their hard work throughout the data collection period. This project was initiated by Roger Wilson and would not have been possible without his experience, energy and enthusiasm.

Funding Information:
This work received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 771492) and the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by the British Council through an Institutional Links grant, ID 216372155, under the Newton-Vietnam partnership. S.M.S. was supported by the World Land Trust (WLT). D.V.S. acknowledges support from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (grant no. NE/M003574/1), a Philip Leverhulme Prize and the United Bank of Carbon (UBoC). Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).


  • forest biomass
  • logging
  • Southeast Asia
  • tropical cyclones

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