Brevia

Expansion of Industrial Logging in Central Africa

Science  08 Jun 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5830, pp. 1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.1141057

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Abstract

Industrial logging has become the most extensive land use in Central Africa, with more than 600,000 square kilometers (30%) of forest currently under concession. With use of a time series of satellite imagery for the period from 1976 to 2003, we measured 51,916 kilometers of new logging roads. The density of roads across the forested region was 0.03 kilometer per square kilometer, but areas of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea had values over 0.09 kilometer per square kilometer. A new frontier of logging expansion was identified within the Democratic Republic of Congo, which contains 63% of the remaining forest of the region. Tree felling and skid trails increased disturbance in selectively logged areas.

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