The drivers of tree cover expansion: global, temperate, and tropical zone analyses

Rudel, Tomas K., Sloan, Sean, Chazdon, Robin, and Grau, Ricardo (2016) The drivers of tree cover expansion: global, temperate, and tropical zone analyses. Land Use Policy, 58. pp. 502-513.

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This paper uses new, high resolution satellite-derived data to explore recent cross-national differences in expanding tree cover throughout the globe as well as in temperate and tropical nations. Increases in tree cover have concentrated in nations with recent histories of extensive deforestation, rugged topography, small numbers of farm workers, and declining rural populations. The spatial association of tree cover losses and tree cover gains suggests a kind of ‘forest churning’ in which owners engage in serial deforestation and reforestation. The concentration of expanded tree cover in countries with large montane regions suggests that a long-term pattern of regenerating upland forests and disappearing lowland forests is emerging both globally and in the tropics. This pattern is consistent with theories about forest transitions and would enable land sparing conservation strategies. Policy reforms to expedite these landscape changes, for example through REDD+ initiatives, would promote upland watershed conservation as well as biodiversity-rich montane forests and could have valuable redistributive effects for small farmers.

Item ID: 38599
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5754
Keywords: forest transition, tropical forests, deforestation, reforestation, regeneration
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: NSF PARTNERS Research Coordination Network
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 22:51
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440603 Economic geography @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 100%
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