Reforestation amidst deforestation: simultaneity and succession

Sloan, Sean (2008) Reforestation amidst deforestation: simultaneity and succession. Global Environmental Change, 18. pp. 425-441.

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The forest-transition theory of expanding forest cover after prolonged periods of deforestation has typically examined forest regeneration apart from historic land-use patterns. In the Bayano-Darien agricultural frontier of Panama, this paper observes forest-cover expansion that is simultaneous to and successive of a preceding pattern of land-use/cover change characterized by expanding ranchland and depopulation. Landsat TM satellite-imagery analysis for 1990–2000, household land-use histories since 2000 and forest plantation records for 1992–2007 illustrate reforestation occurring alongside deforestation. The findings describe a land-cover change dynamic by which a nascent pathway of reforestation assumes the characteristics of antecedent pathways of deforestation. Large-scale commercial interests dominated forestation via plantation expansion, succeeding and consolidating ranchers as ranchers previously succeeded small-scale agriculturalists. Contrary to the forest-transition theory, off-farm employment and emigration did not encourage reforestation amongst ranchers. The drivers, nature, likelihood and limitations of a nascent forest transition appear somewhat determinable by antecedent pathways of deforestation. Refocusing on regional-scale antecedent pathways of land use/cover change promises to expose a typology of forest transitions of varied potency.

Item ID: 38608
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Funders: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC CGS), Levinson Family, McGill University, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 03:34
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160401 Economic Geography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 100%
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