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      High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Trees, Indonesia, Geographic Mapping, Conservation of Natural Resources, Brazil, Maps as Topic

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          Abstract

          Quantification of global forest change has been lacking despite the recognized importance of forest ecosystem services. In this study, Earth observation satellite data were used to map global forest loss (2.3 million square kilometers) and gain (0.8 million square kilometers) from 2000 to 2012 at a spatial resolution of 30 meters. The tropics were the only climate domain to exhibit a trend, with forest loss increasing by 2101 square kilometers per year. Brazil's well-documented reduction in deforestation was offset by increasing forest loss in Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Zambia, Angola, and elsewhere. Intensive forestry practiced within subtropical forests resulted in the highest rates of forest change globally. Boreal forest loss due largely to fire and forestry was second to that in the tropics in absolute and proportional terms. These results depict a globally consistent and locally relevant record of forest change.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Global consequences of land use.

          Land use has generally been considered a local environmental issue, but it is becoming a force of global importance. Worldwide changes to forests, farmlands, waterways, and air are being driven by the need to provide food, fiber, water, and shelter to more than six billion people. Global croplands, pastures, plantations, and urban areas have expanded in recent decades, accompanied by large increases in energy, water, and fertilizer consumption, along with considerable losses of biodiversity. Such changes in land use have enabled humans to appropriate an increasing share of the planet's resources, but they also potentially undermine the capacity of ecosystems to sustain food production, maintain freshwater and forest resources, regulate climate and air quality, and ameliorate infectious diseases. We face the challenge of managing trade-offs between immediate human needs and maintaining the capacity of the biosphere to provide goods and services in the long term.
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            Mountain pine beetle and forest carbon feedback to climate change.

            The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) is a native insect of the pine forests of western North America, and its populations periodically erupt into large-scale outbreaks. During outbreaks, the resulting widespread tree mortality reduces forest carbon uptake and increases future emissions from the decay of killed trees. The impacts of insects on forest carbon dynamics, however, are generally ignored in large-scale modelling analyses. The current outbreak in British Columbia, Canada, is an order of magnitude larger in area and severity than all previous recorded outbreaks. Here we estimate that the cumulative impact of the beetle outbreak in the affected region during 2000-2020 will be 270 megatonnes (Mt) carbon (or 36 g carbon m(-2) yr(-1) on average over 374,000 km2 of forest). This impact converted the forest from a small net carbon sink to a large net carbon source both during and immediately after the outbreak. In the worst year, the impacts resulting from the beetle outbreak in British Columbia were equivalent to approximately 75% of the average annual direct forest fire emissions from all of Canada during 1959-1999. The resulting reduction in net primary production was of similar magnitude to increases observed during the 1980s and 1990s as a result of global change. Climate change has contributed to the unprecedented extent and severity of this outbreak. Insect outbreaks such as this represent an important mechanism by which climate change may undermine the ability of northern forests to take up and store atmospheric carbon, and such impacts should be accounted for in large-scale modelling analyses.
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              Global biodiversity conservation priorities.

              The location of and threats to biodiversity are distributed unevenly, so prioritization is essential to minimize biodiversity loss. To address this need, biodiversity conservation organizations have proposed nine templates of global priorities over the past decade. Here, we review the concepts, methods, results, impacts, and challenges of these prioritizations of conservation practice within the theoretical irreplaceability/vulnerability framework of systematic conservation planning. Most of the templates prioritize highly irreplaceable regions; some are reactive (prioritizing high vulnerability), and others are proactive (prioritizing low vulnerability). We hope this synthesis improves understanding of these prioritization approaches and that it results in more efficient allocation of geographically flexible conservation funding.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24233722
                10.1126/science.1244693

                Chemistry

                Trees, Indonesia, Geographic Mapping, Conservation of Natural Resources, Brazil, Maps as Topic

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