The restoration of degraded forests is the focus of global attention. Effective restoration requires information on the condition of degraded forests. This study aimed to understand the conditions of illegally logged stands that had also experienced inappropriately short rotations between legal logging cycles in natural production forests in Myanmar. Four rectangular plots (each 0.64 ha) were established in 2013. The plots included illegally logged stumps in three compartments where the latest legal logging was conducted in 2011 after very short rotations between legal logging cycles (up to five harvests between 1995 and 2011, compared with a recommended 30-year logging cycle). Using data from the field measurements in 2013 on the legal and illegal stumps and living trees, we reconstructed stand structure just before and after legal logging in 2011. Before the legal logging in 2011, there were variations in stand structure and the composition of commercial species among four plots. Illegal logging (14–31 trees ha−1 ) was much higher than legal logging (0–11 trees ha−1 ). Illegal logging targeted six to nine species that were suitable for high-quality charcoal from various sized trees, while legal logging targeted one or two timber species with a diameter at breast height (DBH) larger than 58 cm. The number of remaining trees in 2013 ranged from 33 to 181 trees ha−1 . There was a negative relationship with the number of bamboo clumps, which varied from 6 to 145 clumps ha−1 . Bamboo-dominated stands with a low remaining stock of commercial trees may need active restoration such as bamboo cutting and replanting of commercial species. Bamboo cutting could generate income for the local community.
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