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Title (Primary) Global patterns of tropical forest fragmentation
Author Taubert, F.; Fischer, R.; Groeneveld, J.; Lehmann, S.; Müller, M.S.; Rödig, E.; Wiegand, T.; Huth, A.
Journal Nature
Year 2018
Department OESA; iDiv
Volume 554
Issue 7693
Page From 519
Page To 522
Language englisch
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UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract Remote sensing enables the quantification of tropical deforestation with high spatial resolution1,2. This in-depth mapping has led to substantial advances in the analysis of continent-wide fragmentation of tropical forests1,2,3,4. Here we identified approximately 130 million forest fragments in three continents that show surprisingly similar power-law size and perimeter distributions as well as fractal dimensions. Power-law distributions5,6,7 have been observed in many natural phenomena8,9 such as wildfires, landslides and earthquakes. The principles of percolation theory7,10,11 provide one explanation for the observed patterns, and suggest that forest fragmentation is close to the critical point of percolation; simulation modelling also supports this hypothesis. The observed patterns emerge not only from random deforestation, which can be described by percolation theory10,11, but also from a wide range of deforestation and forest-recovery regimes. Our models predict that additional forest loss will result in a large increase in the total number of forest fragments—at maximum by a factor of 33 over 50 years—as well as a decrease in their size, and that these consequences could be partly mitigated by reforestation and forest protection.
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Taubert, F., Fischer, R., Groeneveld, J., Lehmann, S., Müller, M.S., Rödig, E., Wiegand, T., Huth, A. (2018):
Global patterns of tropical forest fragmentation
Nature 554 (7693), 519 - 522