Impending disaster or sliver of hope for Southeast Asian forests? The devil may lie in the details
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Here, I report on how forest area in Southeast Asia has changed for different types of forest and across different countries between the periods of 1990–2000 and 2000–2005. The loss of old growth forests has accelerated in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam but have ceased in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and the Philippines. Secondary forests continue to be lost in Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Plantation forests have increased in area by 25.0% from 1990 to 2005 but still comprise only 6.2% of the total forest area in Southeast Asia. Overall, the loss of native forests (old growth and secondary forests) has slowed down in Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei but has worsened in Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia.
KeywordsDeforestation Fragmentation Tropics Rainforest Biodiversity
This work was supported by a graduate fellowship from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University. I thank David Wilcove, Navjot Sodhi, Tien Ming Lee and Juanita Choo-Koh.
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