Resource Details

Ecological implications of harvesting non-timber forest products

Literature: Journal Articles

Ticktin T. 2004. "The ecological implications of harvesting non-timber forest products." Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 41, pp. 11-21.

Contact Info



  • Department of Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu HI 96822, USA


Journal of Applied Ecology

Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purchased or accessed if with subscription. 

Species Info

  • Aechmea magdalenae
  • Banksia hookeriana
  • Calamus zollingeri
  • Euterpe edulis
  • Euterpe oleracea


  • Examined 70 case studies on the ecological effects of harvesting plant-species NTFPs in an attempt to draw broader conclusions for both forest resource management and future research.
  • Overall, the impact of harvest depended greatly on the type of plant part harvested (i.e. the removal of fruit or seeds will impact a population and ecosystem very differently compared to the harvest of an entire individual, which will also be different from the harvest of a latex, of bark, or of leaves), on the life history of the species, and on variation in environmental conditions and human harvest and management practices.
  • Found that most studies looked at either individuals or populations, and very few examined either communities or ecosystems. Also nearly 40% of the studies examined the harvest of palms, even though an enormous variety of plant species are harvested as NTFPs. Thus there is a need for more research on the impact of harvest practices at multiple ecological levels (from genes to ecosystem), a need for more long-term studies, and a need to study other forms of NTFPs such as lianas, vines and plant exudates.
  • The few studies that have examined the effects of NTFP harvest on ecological communities suggest that impacts may be significant. However, the impact of NTFP harvest on ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling seems to vary greatly depending on both temporal and spatial variation in environmental conditions, as well as the specifics of the harvest practices.

Geographical Region

  • General
  • Country

  • General
  • This database is a work in progress, and we need your input to keep it up to date. Feel free to contact ELTI at to provide information on your own work as well as other projects and literature currently missing from the database.


    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute