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Fire enhances forest degradation within forest edge zones in Africa

Zhao, Zhe and Li, Wei and Ciais, Philippe and Santoro, Maurizio and Cartus, Oliver and Peng, Shushi and Yin, Yi and Yue, Chao and Yang, Hui and Yu, Le and Zhu, Lei and Wang, Jingmeng (2021) Fire enhances forest degradation within forest edge zones in Africa. Nature Geoscience, 14 (7). pp. 479-483. ISSN 1752-0894. doi:10.1038/s41561-021-00763-8. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210721-202941400

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Abstract

African forests suffer from severe fragmentation that further causes forest degradation near forest edges. The impact of fires used for slash-and-burn on forest edge effects remains unclear. Here, using high-resolution satellite-based forest-cover and biomass datasets, we find that edge effects extend a median distance and an interquartile range of 0.11^(+0.06)_(−0.04) km and 0.15^(+0.09)_(−0.05) km into moist and dry forests, and biomass within the forest edge zones has a carbon deficit of 4.1 PgC. Fires occurred in 52% of the forest edges and increased the carbon deficit by 5.5^(+4.3)_(−2.9) MgC ha⁻¹, compared with non-fire edges, through both the direct impact of fires intruding into forests and the indirect impact of changes in the local atmospheric circulations increasing canopy dryness. If small-scale slash-and-burn practices continue, increased fragmentation during 2010–2100 will result in a carbon loss from edge effects of 0.54–4.6 PgC. Fragmentation-caused forest degradation could be avoided by implementing dedicated forest protection policies supported by satellite monitoring of forest edges.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00763-8DOIArticle
https://rdcu.be/cplCgPublisherFree ReadCube access
https://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest/download_v1.7.htmlRelated Item30 m forest-cover map (v1.7)
https://zenodo.org/record/4725667Related Item25 m full-resolution GlobBiomass map for Africa
http://globbiomass.org/products/global-mappingRelated ItemGlobal and official 100 m GlobBiomass map
https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.894711DOIGlobal and official 100 m GlobBiomass map
https://doi.org/10.5285/58f00d8814064b79a0c49662ad3af537DOIfire data from FireCCI
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Zhao, Zhe0000-0002-2199-5022
Li, Wei0000-0003-2543-2558
Ciais, Philippe0000-0001-8560-4943
Santoro, Maurizio0000-0002-3339-6991
Peng, Shushi0000-0001-5098-726X
Yin, Yi0000-0003-4750-4997
Zhu, Lei0000-0002-2146-6438
Wang, Jingmeng0000-0001-9191-0744
Additional Information:© 2021 Nature Publishing Group. Received 12 December 2020; Accepted 11 May 2021; Published 05 July 2021. This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (no. 2019YFA0606604, to W.L.). The authors also acknowledge funding from the ANR CLAND Convergence Institute (16-CONV-0003, to P.C.), the European Space Agency (ESA) within the CCI Biomass project (contract 4000123662/18/I-NB, to P.C.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 41971132 and grant no. U20A2090, to C.Y.), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDB40020305, to C.Y.) and the National Key Scientific and Technological Infrastructure project ‘Earth System Science Numerical Simulator Facility’ (EarthLab, to L.Y.). The global AGB dataset was generated as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Data User Element (DUE) GlobBiomass project (ESRIN contract no. 4000113100/14/I-NB). Data availability: The 30 m forest-cover map (v1.7) from Hansen et al.21 can be downloaded from https://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest/download_v1.7.html. The 25 m full-resolution GlobBiomass map for Africa from Santoro et al.23 can be downloaded from https://zenodo.org/record/4725667. The global and official 100 m GlobBiomass map22 can be downloaded from http://globbiomass.org/products/global-mapping or https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.894711. The fire data from FireCCI24 can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.5285/58f00d8814064b79a0c49662ad3af537. Source data are provided with this paper. Code availability: All additional computer codes are available from the corresponding author on request. Author Contributions: W.L. designed the research. Z.Z. performed analysis. M.S. and O.C. processed the biomass map data. Z.Z. and W.L. drafted the paper. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the results and to the text. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Geoscience thanks Rico Fischer and other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Primary Handling Editor: Xujia Jiang.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Key Research and Development Program of China2019YFA0606604
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)16-CONV-0003
European Space Agency (ESA)4000123662/18/I-NB
National Natural Science Foundation of China41971132
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaU20A2090
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB40020305
National Key Scientific and Technological InfrastructureUNSPECIFIED
European Space Agency (ESA)4000113100/14/I-NB
Subject Keywords:Carbon cycle; Fire ecology
Issue or Number:7
DOI:10.1038/s41561-021-00763-8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210721-202941400
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210721-202941400
Official Citation:Zhao, Z., Li, W., Ciais, P. et al. Fire enhances forest degradation within forest edge zones in Africa. Nat. Geosci. 14, 479–483 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00763-8
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109957
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Jul 2021 22:54
Last Modified:26 Jul 2021 22:54

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