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Spatiotemporal pattern of global forest change over the past 60 years and the forest transition theory

Estoque, Ronald C. ; Dasgupta, Rajarshi; Winkler, Karina ORCID iD icon 1; Avitabile, Valerio; Johnson, Brian A.; Myint, Soe W.; Gao, Yan; Ooba, Makoto; Murayama, Yuji; Lasco, Rodel D.
1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Forest ecosystems play an indispensable role in addressing various pressing sustainability and social-ecological challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. However, global forest loss has been, and still is today, an important issue. Here, based on spatially explicit data, we show that over the past 60 years (1960–2019), the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million ha (i.e. 10% more than the size of the entire Borneo island), with forest loss (437.3 million ha) outweighing forest gain (355.6 million ha). With this forest decline and the population increase (4.68 billion) over the period, the global forest per capita has decreased by over 60%, from 1.4 ha in 1960 to 0.5 ha in 2019. The spatiotemporal pattern of forest change supports the forest transition theory, with forest losses occurring primarily in the lower income countries in the tropics and forest gains in the higher income countries in the extratropics. Furthermore, economic growth has a stronger association with net forest gain than with net forest loss. Our results highlight the need to strengthen the support given to lower income countries, especially in the tropics, to help improve their capacity to minimize or end their forest losses. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000149375
Veröffentlicht am 02.08.2022
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac7df5
Zitationen: 20
Web of Science
Zitationen: 13
Zitationen: 24
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsdatum 01.08.2022
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1748-9326
KITopen-ID: 1000149375
HGF-Programm 12.11.21 (POF IV, LK 01) Natural ecosystems as sources and sinks of GHGs
Erschienen in Environmental Research Letters
Verlag Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd (IOP Publishing Ltd)
Band 17
Heft 8
Seiten Art.-Nr.: 084022
Schlagwörter forest, land use, land cover, forest transition, land use change
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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