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Long-term forest degradation surpasses deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

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Science  11 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6509, pp. 1378-1382
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb3021

Degradation exceeds deforestation

Forest degradation is a ubiquitous form of human disturbance of the forest landscape. Activities such as selective logging and extraction fall short of total deforestation but lead to loss of biomass and/or fragmentation. On the basis of remote sensing data at 30-meter spatial resolution, Matricardi et al. analyzed the extent of forest degradation across the entire Brazilian Amazon over a ∼22-year period up to 2014. They found that the extent and rate of forest degradation was equal to or greater than deforestation, which has important implications for carbon, biodiversity, and energy balance.

Science, this issue p. 1378

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