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    Author(s): Gregory P. Asner; Eben N. Broadbent; Paulo J. C. Oliveira; Michael Keller; David E. Knapp; Jose N. M. Silva
    Date: 2006
    Source: PNAS, vol. 103, no. 34 :12947–12950
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (935 B)

    Description

    The long-term viability of a forest industry in the Amazon region of Brazil depends on the maintenance of adequate timber volume and growth in healthy forests. Using extensive high-resolution satellite analyses, we studied the forest damage caused by recent logging operations and the likelihood that logged forests would be cleared within 4 years after timber harvest. Across 2,030,637 km2 of the Brazilian Amazon from 1999 to 2004, at least 76% of all harvest practices resulted in high levels of canopy damage sufficient to leave forests susceptible to drought and fire. We found that 16  1% of selectively logged areas were deforested within 1 year of logging, with a subsequent annual deforestation rate of 5.4% for 4 years after timber harvests. Nearly all logging occurred within 25 km of main roads, and within that area, the probability of deforestation for a logged forest was up to four times greater than for unlogged forests. In combination, our results show that logging in the Brazilian Amazon is dominated by highly damaging operations, often followed rapidly by deforestation decades before forests can recover sufficiently to produce timber for a second harvest. Under the management regimes in effect at the time of our study in the Brazilian Amazon, selective logging would not be sustained.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Asner, Gregory P.; Broadbent, Eben N.; Oliveira, Paulo J. C.; Keller, Michael; Knapp, David E.; Silva, Jose N. M. 2006. Condition and fate of logged forests in the Brazilian Amazon. PNAS, vol. 103, no. 34 :12947–12950

    Keywords

    Brazil, forest disturbance, remote sensing, selective logging, tropical forest

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