Deforestation and economic growth trends on oceanic islands highlight the need for meso-scale analysis and improved mid-range theory in conservation

Bhatia, Nitin, and Cumming, Graeme S. (2020) Deforestation and economic growth trends on oceanic islands highlight the need for meso-scale analysis and improved mid-range theory in conservation. Ecology and Society, 25 (3).

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Abstract

Forests both support biodiversity and provide a wide range of benefits to people at multiple scales. Global and national remote sensing analyses of drivers of forest change generally focus on broad-scale influences on area (composition), ignoring arrangement (configuration). To explore meso-scale relationships, we compared forest composition and configuration to six indicators of economic growth over 23 years (1992-2015) of satellite data for 23 island nations. Based on global analyses, we expected to find clear relationships between economic growth and forest cover. Eleven islands lost 1 to 50% of forest cover, eight gained 1 to 28%, and four remained steady. Surprisingly, we found no clear relationship between economic growth trends and forest-cover change trajectories. These results differ from those of global land-cover change analyses and suggest that conservation-oriented policy and management approaches developed at both national and local scales are ignoring key meso-scale processes.

Item ID: 64896
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1708-3087
Keywords: deforestation, economic indicators, land-cover change, land-use change, landscape composition, landscape configuration, remote sensing
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2020 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James S. McDonnell Foundation
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2020 07:40
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310399 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
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